|Format:||2 x two hours, HD|
Cristiana Capotondi (SISI)
Martina Gedeck (THE LIVES OF OTHERS)
Herbert Knaup (RUN LOLA RUN, THE LIVES OF OTHERS)
|Directed by:||Xaver Schwarzenberger|
|Produced by:||EOS Entertainment, Sunset Austria and Publispei in association with ZDF, ORF, RAI and Beta|
SisiThe undying saga of the legendary Empress of Hearts has a new face! The decisive scenes of Sissi's life from her youth to her years of maturity are spun into the wondrous tale of a woman who became a myth in her own lifetime. Hers is a life poised between duty and freedom – a life that is captured here as the story of a daughter, a wife, a mother, and an Empress...
1853. The Austrian Empire has quelled the revolutionary stirrings of 1848, but the tension remains palpable. At the elegant spa of Bad Ischl, young Emperor Franz Joseph has something else than unruly provinces on his mind: love. Though his mother Archduchess Sophie wants him to marry the young Bavarian Princess Helene, it is Helene's spirited, life-loving younger sister Elisabeth - called Sisi - who captures Franz Joseph's heart. In a move untypical of the strictly raised emperor, Franz Joseph defies his mother and decides to marry Sisi.
After a sumptuous wedding in Vienna, court life once again takes hold of Franz Joseph - and stifles the freedom-loving, liberal-minded Sisi. Especially tense are her relations with her mother-in-law Sophie, who does not appreciate Sisi's unconventional ways and intends to tame the "wild" young woman... But Sisi forges onward, provoking admiration as well as disapproval. Her interest in politics leads to differences of opinion between her and the Emperor, which put their love to the test.
The Emperor can no longer turn a blind eye to the problems in his realm: revolution is in the air, and the conflict between Franz Joseph and Sisi grows when the charismatic Hungarian revolutionary Count Andrassy wins Sisi over to his cause. Franz Joseph then decides to involve Sisi more closely in the political life of the empire and takes her on official visits abroad, to Italy and Hungary. But while they're in Budapest, tragedy strikes: the couple's youngest daughter Sophie falls ill and dies...
Though profoundly shaken by her daughter's death, Sisi continues to fulfill her duties as wife, mother and Empress. War now looms over the Empire, and Franz Joseph hopes for the support of the French Emperor Napoleon III in his struggle to subdue the renegade Italian provinces. But Napoleon betrays Austria...
Sisi's domestic life also offers her little comfort, for she now openly opposes her mother-in-law on the issue of raising her son Rudolf. With Franz Joseph's assent, Sophie wins this battle and subjects the Crown Prince to a rigid education. Sisi feels relegated to the sidelines, her views unwanted, her wishes unheeded. She tries to find peace in Venice...
Finally, Franz Joseph rebels against his mother and removes little Rudolf from the military academy. This gesture alone is enough to prove how much he loves Sisi, who returns to the court more self-confident and dazzling than ever before. She now has the power to play an active role in determining the politics of the Empire, and soon intervenes in the conflict between Austria and Hungary. Wide-ranging concessions to the Hungarians prevent the Empire's collapse and lets Sisi and Franz Joseph look to the future with confidence...