Venice FF

Roger Michell – The Duke #Venezia77

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4 min. and 37 sec.

Inspired by a true story, a Robin Hood tale with two Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent.

Play Podcast
4 min. and 37 sec.

PODCAST | Chiara Nicoletti interviews Roger Michell, director of the film The Duke.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

Notting Hill director Roger Michell lands at the 77th Venice International film festival with The Duke, presented out of competition. The film stars an unforgettable couple, Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent plus the emerging star Fionn Whitehead. Inspired by true events, Roger Michell describes the film as a Robin Hood story while pointing out that comedy is life and there was no other way of telling a funny but pensive story like this.

The Duke: In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, stole Francisco Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery’s history. Kempton sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly – he had long campaigned for pensioners to receive free television. What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only fifty years later did the full story emerge – Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage – how and why he used the Duke to achieve that is a wonderfully uplifting tale.

To watch FRED video interview, click here.

  • Reporter
    Chiara Nicoletti
  • Guest
    Roger Michell
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    The Duke
  • Festival section
    Out of Competition
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