fbpx Biennale Cinema 2017 | Stephen Frears - Victoria & Abdul
La Biennale di Venezia

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Stephen Frears - Victoria & Abdul

Great Britain / 110’
language English from the novel Victoria & Abdul di Shrabani Basu
cast Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Eddie Izzard 
screenplay Lee Hall
cinematographer Danny Cohen
editor Melanie Ann Oliver
production designer Alan MacDonald
costume designer Consolata Boyle
music Thomas Newman
special effects Adrian Bennett


Victoria & Abdul tells the extraordinary true story of the amazing and unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria and a young clerk, Abdul Karim, who becomes her teacher, her spiritual advisor, and her devoted friend. In 1887, Abdul travels from India to present a ceremonial medal as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee but surprisingly finds favor with the elderly Queen. The unprecedented and unlikely relationship causes a battle within the royal household, pitting the Queen against court and family. Victoria & Abdul humorously explores questions of race, religion, power, and the farce of Empire through the prism of a highly unusual and deeply moving friendship.


I didn’t know the story of Victoria and Abdul. I didn’t know of Victoria’s affection for her Indian servant. Lee Hall wrote a brilliantly funny and topical and romantic script about diversity and class, about the most powerful woman in the world and a Muslim servant. To me it owed more to The Thief of Bagdad than to British films about the Raj. I said I could only make it with Judi Dench and by great good fortune, she agreed.

Sala Grande

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