Golden Age, like Elizabeth, is an interpretation of historical characters and events to tell a story that hopefuly becomes relevant to our lives and times today..
it is not a ‘historical’ in that sense. I remember running into much criticism over historical liberties in Elizabeth, especially about her Virginity. In our interpretation of that film,’ Virginity’ was a political and cultural statement. Elizabeth ‘declared’ herself a Virgin. Denied her own feminity, in order to rule over men.
I also remember running afoul of some very respected US dailies. One even called it the MTV version Elizabeth, and secretly I took it has a complement. But in retrospect, and I say this with the greatest of respect for the standards of writing and critique in the US, I do feel that sometimes we film viewers and critics become victims of film Genre’.
So what has fascinated me most about this ‘interpretation of history’ in the Golden Age ?
That whatever we skim on the surface of the Elizabethan times, they were times of evaluation and re-evaluation of the understanding of the Elizabethan’s of themselves and of their relationship with the Universe they lived in. Some of the explorations very much in synch with the explorations we in the modern world are delving into. The exploring of the consciousness. Some even touching concepts of Buddhism.
The Elizabethans called it interconnectedness. The inter connectedness of all things.
They also believed in the Great Chain of Being. At the top of which stood God, and it went right down through human beings, to animals, plants to the lowest form of life. I shall introduce all of you to my researcher, Justin Pollard, who will write a very very lucid account of Elizabethan beliefs.
Elizabeth herself explored all this, but also beleived in the ‘Divine Right of Princes to rule’. That the right to rule was handed down to ‘princes’ by God. and so their acts could nto be questioned by ordinary humans.
So interestingly, there were three monarchs at that time, all of who disagreed, were in conflict with each other, but each believed that God had given THEM the right to rule.
Elizabeth, Phillip of Spain and Mary of Scotts. All of whom are characters in the film.
No wonder Elizabeth was so reluctant to execute Mary of Scotts. She believed that in doing so, she was interfering in God’s conferring of Divinity (even to Mary). For if Elizabeth died, God had given Mary the Divine right to rule as her next successor.
Elizabeth’s personal struggle with Divinity is an essential part of Golden Age, not so much Historical recounting of history books.
And all history is interpretation in any case. A point of view,