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The Aristocrats: the Rothschilds

The Aristocrats: the Rothschilds

Sat May 25, 8-9pm, More4

By Adam Lee Davies
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Rich toffs don’t really get any more aristocratic than the bogglingly wealthy and legendarily influential banking family, the Rothschilds. But don’t let the piles of cash, country houses and royal connections fool you, because they aren’t aristocrats at all, apparently.

Although received into British high society after amassing a fortune in the nineteenth century, their Jewish heritage meant that the landed gentry always regarded them as nouveau riche outsiders, a perception the family believe lingers to this day. The feather beds, groveling lackeys and grouse sandwiches must be cold comfort…

But instead of concentrating on their fascinating family history, the changing nature of nobility and peerage or the kind of high finance that can alter history and sway the fortunes of war, Bafta-winning director Patrick Forbes’s pandering documentary pads gently behind the current Lord Rothschild as he amasses a clutch (a palette? An installation? A bafflement?) of Turner Prize-winning artists to decorate his house.

So we get lots of footage of ‘Lord R’ in a hard hat, wandering through building sites while artist Richard Long slathers the walls with million-pound mud rather than any real insight into the family’s inner workings.
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