The Queen of Versailles
Directed by: Lauren Greenfield
Written by: N/A
Starring: Jaqueline Siegel & David Siegel
Lauren Greenfield’s documentary The Queen of Versailles has images that perfectly define post-2008 recession America. In the wake of the massive layoffs of most of their maid staff, the once impossibly rich Siegel family live in an immaculate 26,000 square foot mansion littered with old food plates, dozens of misplaced toys and covered in dog shit.
Documentaries like this are a product not just of skillful filmmaking and probing insight, but also luck. Greenfield started filming two years before the financial meltdown that nearly crumbles David Siegel’s time share empire, Westgate Estates. Him, his wife Jackie, their eight children (seven of which they made and one who is a niece they took in) and their pets were preparing to move into what would’ve been the biggest home in America.