Austria | Germany/Austria | 100m
1477. The Barbarism of the Middle Ages is slowly giving way to humanism and order, but still, mercenaries and foot-soldiers, kings and princes soak the battlefields with their blood.
When the Duke of Burgundy dies in battle, Mary, his only child, intends to rule over the duchy despite the rule of masculine succession. The richest heiress in Europe, the sharp-minded young woman is coveted by various suitors. Mary resists the citizens of Ghent who, spurred by the French King Louis XI, try to force her into a marriage with Louis’ son Charles, a boy of poor health and a weak mind. At the same time, Maximilian of Habsburg, the young Austrian archduke, stubbornly opposes his father, the Roman Emperor Frederick III, who also wants his son to marry the young Duchess of Burgundy.
Bursting with energy and idealism, Maximilian despises his hesitant and sluggish father who is constantly short of money. It is Mary’s lady-in-waiting who makes Maximilian change his mind. Cheekily, Johanna examines the young warrior. Once satisfied by what she sees, she shows him Mary’s portrait. Instantly smitten by her features, Maximilian embarks on a perilous journey through a realm ravaged by war and the Black Death.
When Maximilian is infected by the plague, his life is hanging by a thread; he and Mary get married by proxy. Miraculously, the young warrior recovers. As soon as Maximilian and Mary meet, sparks begin to fly. Though constantly in danger, the Ducal family faces its enemies openly. Under Maximilian and Mary’s rule, the Burgundian Middle Ages transform itself into the splendor of the Habsburg Empire at the beginning of modernity. Two lovers pave the way for the Renaissance, an era that is to change the world...
Kurt Mrkwicka, Andreas Kamm ,Oliver Auspitz, Jan Mojto (co-producer), Ferdinand Dohna (co-producer)
Jannis Niewöhner, Christa Theret