Hubert Vos and The Empress
One hundred years ago Dutch painter Hubert Vos receives the request to come to Beijing to portray the feared and powerful Chinese Empress Cixi in her Summer Palace. He is told not to make a realistic portrait of the 72-year-old empress. He must show her younger and prettier. With great empathy for the needs of the mighty empress Hubert Vos portrays her as a beautiful and strong woman of about thirty years. From his experiences at court he keeps a diary.
One hundred years later, the painting is badly damaged and neglected. A Dutch team receives permission to restore the fabric. Like Hubert Vos the conservators are under the spell of the enchanting beauty of the palace world, a for ordinary mortals forbidden area. But they should also cope with a totally different way of thinking, working and communicating. The experiences of the painter Hubert Vos and the conservators appear to be equal in many respects: the cultural differences between the West and China still remain unchanged (64').
Directed by Micaela van Rijckevorsel
Original title: HUBERT VOS EN DE KEIZERIN
French title: HUBERT VOS ET L'IMPÉRATRICE
Producent: L1 / Visser & Van Rijckevorsel Filmprodukties
ph. +31 (0)20 618 0467 / +31 (0)6 547 81052
Netherlands Film Festival Utrecht 09