There was hue and cry in the British Press when I made Elizabeth. She was called the Virgin Queen and I showed her in bed with Robert Dudley.
How, I asked the Historians, do you know ? She had a number of liasons. Because she declared herself so, was the most stock answer, and because everyone of that time said so.
That set us thinking and we realized that the most important fact was that she ‘declared’ herself a Virgin. And so we decided to make the film about why Elizabeth ‘declared’ herself a Virgin.
That was the interpretation of the last film. Was she, or was she not a Virgin ? Does it matter ? and does anyone truly know historical facts ?
Even a conversation yiou have with your best friend is interpreted by each friend differently when narrated to someone else within 20 minutes of that conversation. So everything we narrate post the even is our interpretation of that event. And when we go back into History, often the even itself is an interpretation.
So to ask a film maker to be true to ‘taught’ historical facts is unfair.
The film maker interprest History once again. As the original authors did.
More. The film maker is not making a documentary. He is trying to find contemporary meaning to our lives through stated History. For example it is very relavent to me that Elizabeth was not a fundamentalist while PHillip of Spain was. It is very relavent that she stood for religeous tolerance in a word where fanaticism was rife.
But ask the Irish about Elizabeth and you will get a completely opposite picture of Elizabeth’s sense of fairness and tolerance. Which one is right ?
For me, I interpret the story in the context of the conflicts within myself.
Where does my soirituality lie ? and why do I always feel the conflict between my basic human needs and my aspiration to spirituality ?
So, was Elizabeth a Virgin ? Does it matter ?