The Death of Louis XIV (film)

The climax of the film perhaps starts and ends with the title. The grandiose phrase announcing the king’s death. The viewers are then carried gently down the two hours of exquisitely produced ‘slow death’ river. It is not merely the death of a king, but of rational thought and purpose. We see a failed state, drowning in its champagne induced vomit, unable to take action.

We see the sycophantic servants pandering to his Majesty’s every need, while undertaking warfare of ego and pettiness among themselves. But this is just a manifestation of the systematic decay that had set in and been seething for a long time, getting more absurd each day. The level of corruption so great and the suffering of people so horrific it mobilized the citizens to take action just a generation later.

In our lives, we see the EU and the UN growing morbidly obese in their spirits, its members squabbling over career opportunities and political grandstanding. We see politicians, instead of bringing people together, choosing to divide the population by identity politics to raise their popularity. Ideologies have become dull to the changes that have occurred around them. Institutions like the FBI are used as political tools against opponents. Where are the concerns for the population? for public service? Such purposeful question have long been forgotten among our leaders.

The film is beautiful to watch, reminiscent of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon in texture and light. The level of luxury is quite intense to watch as (in The Death) each activity, no matter how banal, is completed with the most ceremonial trimmings one could possibly imagine. It’s exquisite, it’s comical, and it’s grotesque. I would highly recommend this film to anyone that thinks about the world.

While The Death of Louis XIV for me is in a way an expression of the status quo in the governance across our civilization, I do not despair. We see signs of changes already and Nature says what is so corrupt and self indulged eventually gives away. We’ve seen presidents get impeached, a decision made after pending for decades-Jerusalem (for better or for worse), drug reform happening all around the world, heads of state in western democracies being led by many women, reforms in Saudi Arabia, an invigorated African economy; for me, these are all indications that positive changes are abound. From time to time I think it is worth asking ourselves what this is for? As I write and reach out to you, I believe the ultimate purpose of politics and media is communication with each other for the betterment of humanity.

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