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On January 21, 1793, Louis XVI died: this is how cinema embodied this king



For the revolutionaries, he was “Louis Capet”. But it is his sovereign name that has gone down in history. A name that evokes Marie-Antoinette, the French Revolution and the guillotine. On January 21, 1793, Louis XVI, after being found guilty of intelligence with the enemy, was executed on the Place de la Révolution in Paris (later renamed Place de la Concorde).

This crucial event in the history of France has of course largely inspired the cinema. Because, even if several chroniclers of the time recounted the last moments of Louis XVI, several directors took the risk of staging them. Others simply filmed the sovereign at Versailles, before his disastrous end.

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On the occasion of the 230th anniversary of the death of Louis XVI, a look back at the cinematographic appearances of this king of France, embodied on screen both by Laurent Laffite in “A people and his king” (directed by Pierre Schoeller in 2018 ) as by Dominique Besnehard in “Beaumarchais, the insolent” (Edouard Molinaro, 1996) via Jason Schwartzman in Sofia Coppola’s cult film “Marie-Antoinette” (2006).



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