The Emperor's Wife Feature film, 2003, 93 min.

With its theatrical costumes, make-up and decor - designed by Wilbert van Dorp, who also designed for Peter Greenaway - the English-spoken feature film The Emperor's Wife looks like an costume piece, a fairytale for adults. Inspired by the life of Suraya of Persia and the court of Istanbul in the 1920s, the film tells a story of age-long court traditions. An emperor, whose wife is unable to bear him an heir, instructs his chamberlain to find a suitable candidate for giving birth to his son. From the mountains, the steward gets a beautiful young virgin, Sabah, gorgeous but wild as a cat. Sabah first needs to be tamed, so in accordance with an old custom she will be prepared for her role as empress in a secret wing of the palace for a year. The emperor will not see her before the wedding ceremony. While the jealous empress has a suspicion that she will be deposited and the emperor tries to evade the law, the chamberlain, falls in love with Sabah. A serious problem, since every man who enters her room will be executed.

 

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