In 2007, David and Jackie Siegel were living in a rather large home in Florida — 26,000 square feet of large home, that is. But they felt hemmed in and needed more room to roam. Consider them the human equivalents of antelopes seeking the wide open range, albeit with appliances, a roof and walls, eventually.
The couple set about building what was envisioned as the largest residence in America, modeled after the French chateau, Versailles. If all went according to plan, we might have only heard news reports of angry neighbors. With something so large, the abutters may have numbered in the hundreds.
Enter the recession and documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield who was allowed access to this journey of outlandish excess and the price paid. But this is not simply a tale of finger-pointing and cheerful comeuppance. That’s too easy and, thankfully, not what an artist of Ms. Greenfield’s talents set out to record. Rather, the film, in a miraculous way, is something of a mirror for us all. Who does not fall prey to the desire for a bit more square footage, to a cushier way to get through the day and to enjoy the fruits, fruits and more fruits of the American Dream.
On Tuesday, August 7, beginning at 8 p.m., Ms. Greenfield’s movie The Queen of Versailles, will be shown at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs. The film opened the Sundance Film Festival last January and is, in the words of A.O. Scott of the New York Times, “A gaudy guilty pleasure that is also a piece of trenchant social criticism.”
Lauren Greenfield will also be in attendance and take part in a Q & A, after the show.
For more information, call 508-696-9369 or visit mvfilmsociety.com.