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Age of Queens – “Bloody” Mary Tudor

Docu-drama, 45 min, 2022
Director: Andrea Oster

For centuries Mary Tudor, the first English queen, has been portrayed as a cruel, despotic ruler. Forever known as “Bloody Mary”, she had more than 300 Protestant “heretics” burned at the stake. However, she actually believed she was helping them by saving their souls from eternal damnation.

Queen Mary I was the first-born child of the legendary Tudor king Henry VIII and the half-sister of the equally renowned Queen Elizabeth I. Even 450 years after her death, her terrible reputation has eclipsed some of her remarkable achievements: Mary Tudor was the first woman on England’s throne and the first dynastic queen. She was also a pioneering, powerful ruler despite the overwhelming misogyny of her age.

Mary’s five years of rule would now, perhaps, be considered a ground-breaking moment in the history of women’s rights and gender equality  – if some of her contemporaries had not done everything in their power to ruin her reputation and destroy her legacy. The most prominent of these adversaries was her half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I. She skilfully took advantage of Mary’s missteps and mistakes in order to manipulate public opinion, an early example of propaganda and hate speech that resonates to this day.

The documentary examines the real woman behind the mythical, terrifying “Bloody Mary”. Her story is narrated by the very person who did so much to establish this myth: Queen Elizabeth I, portrayed by the celebrated Austrian actor Marie-Christine Friedrich. Context is provided by some of Britain’s most respected historians, and the film presents a compelling, comprehensive examination of one of the most controversial figures in European history.

Accordion Title

Queen Elizabeth I.
Marie-Christine Friedrich

Script & Director
Andrea Oster

Georg Geutebrück
Christian Haake
Tim Webster
Jak Reyez
Sonja Aufderklamm

Edited by
Robert Zapletal

Emanoel Bruckmüller

Original music by
Alexander Komlew

Production Design & Costumes
Peter Suchy

Ina Chudrina
Julia Perdula

Regina Tichy

Camera assistant
Natalia Brezwan

Lighting technicians
Siegfried Stütz
Clemens Gigler

Sound design & Mischung
Christofer Frank

Florian Hirschmann
Thomas Leitner

Colour grading
Nicola Stampfer

Archival research
Fynn Siemoneit

Production services
Philipp Sklorz (Metafilm)
JewelLabs Pictures
– Viktor Perdula
– Mathias Hammer
– Jan Weinand

Voice over
Cornelius Obonya
Katrin Daliot
Eva Maria Salcher
Ninja Reichert
Eszter Hollósi

Archive & Entities
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Renaissanceschloss Rosenburg

Co-produced by
Ifage, Metafilm, ZDF und ORF

In cooperation with
arte und ORF-Enterprise

Funded by
Fernsehfonds Austria