In Search of Josephine

DVD Details

Director: Eric Ellena
Format: Color, PAL*, 16/9
Region: All Regions/Zones
Languages: English, French
Release Date: September 2012
Length: 52 minutes x 2 episodes / 18 minutes (bonus)
Partners: Le Souvenir Napoléonien, Rueil Malmaison Office of Tourism, The City of Rueil Malmaison, The International Napoleonic Society, CNC, Recommended by Historia

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* This DVD may not be viewable on DVD players outside Europe, but will play on computers. If you wish to purchase an NTSC version for North America/Canada territory, please visit Kultur.


Would Napoleon have ever become Emperor without his Josephine? This two-part documentary series revisits the life of an incredibly modern woman from her childhood spent in the island of Martinique, to her coronation as Empress at age 41, and finally to her death – from a simple cold – ten years later in her palace, Malmaison. We find ourselves retracing her steps in France and Italy and discover a character much more complex and interesting than what has been written about her by previous historians. With the help of historical reenactments, paintings and illustrations, this revealing documentary reconstructs the important moments of her extraordinary life. Having survived a devastating hurricane, a death sentence, firing cannons, a bombing and even a balcony fall, Josephine continues to fascinate millions of people worldwide, not only because she was wife to one of the most well-known characters in history, but also because the life she led – full of drama and grandeur – was greater than any role ever imagined in fiction.


An excellent investigation and recreation of a fascinating and complex woman.”J. David Markham, President of the International Napoleonic Society
One of the real achievements of this film is that it opens up the Naploelonic period to a much wider audience than those who would often be drawn to this period. The film reminds us of the wider influence that the events in Revolutionary France had on the whole world, and the importance of appreciating the period through other perspectives… The film reveals Josephine’s extraordinarily strong personality until the viewer is left with an impression of a unique woman finding her way in revolutionary times.  The very fact of seeing a woman’s perspective in Napoleonic times is fascinating in itself… A memorable 2 episode DVD set… I recommend it highly.” — William Fletcher, Research Officer of The Napoleonic Association

Bonus Features

    • A Passion for Josephine (4′): Historians and writers reveal the reasons behind their passion for such an intriguing and historical figure.
    • Reliving History (14′): A tell-all from reenactors who’ve managed to travel back in time to relive some of history’s greatest moments!
    • DVD Booklet (32 pages) including a biographical timeline of Josephine’s life, a guide to the places she’s visited, and references for much more!


International Napoleonic Society Sandra Gulland Official Web Site

Interviews including

    • Bernard Chevallier, Historian & Former Curator of Malmaison Museum
    • Françoise Wagener, Biographer & Author of The Empress Josephine
    • Andrea Stuart, Biographer & Author of The Rose of Martinique
    • Sandra Gulland, Biographer & Author of The Josephine B. Trilogy
    • Amaury Lefebure, Curator of Malmaison Museum
    • Paolo Foramitti, Delegate of the Napoleonic Society (Northern Italy)
    • Jérôme Ziesniss, President of the French “Save Venice” Committee
    • Monique de Buyer, Director of the Plombieres Historical Society
    • Maurizio Sammartini, Owner of the Pisani-Moretta Palace
    • Maria Costanza Scarpini, Principal of the Limbiate Agricultural School