Power and Passion

Power and Passion

Prussia’s Chancellor Hardenberg

A politician’s life in the Napoleonic era

In the early 19th century, the name Hardenberg was well-known in European politics. Karl August von Hardenberg began his career serving King George III of Great Britain. As Prussian chancellor, he radically altered the country’s monarchy, beginning in 1810. His reforms forever changed the country’s fortunes. The Allied victory over Napoleon was in part made possible through his radical notion of treating Prussia’s people not as subordinates, but as citizens. If he had ultimately had his way, Prussia would have even had a radically modern constitution.

However, Hardenberg’s political career was always overshadowed by private scandals. His many affairs and marriages were publicized widely in Europe’s newspapers of the time. The film explores the life and times of Karl August von Hardenberg, one of Europe’s foremost politicians in the Napoleonic era, through the reenactment of key moments of his life, supported by important documents, caricatures, paintings and newspapers of the time.