An “immersive” Princess Diana documentary offering an “origin story” for the British royal family’s latest woes was among the opening night movies at the online Sundance film festival Thursday.
Sundance, which celebrates independent cinema, was forced to go virtual for a second year running by the Omicron variant of Covid-19’s surge across the United States.
The pandemic has forced filmmakers to innovate, and The Princess is one of several Sundance movies constructed entirely from archive footage.
Without a narrator, it transports viewers back to Diana’s tumultuous marriage to Prince Charles and explores an obsessed media and public’s impact on those events via contemporaneous footage.
“It is a kind of Shakespearean tragedy, but it’s one that lots of us lived through, and actually actively participated in,” said director Ed Perkins.
While many previous documentaries tried to “get inside Diana’s head”, Perkins focuses on how the press and public perceived and judged her behaviour.
Originally published in Dawn, January 22, 2022