What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Queen of Versailles is a thoroughly riveting but also disturbing documentary about a very wealthy family, the Siegels, and how they swing from one extreme (seemingly endless riches) to another (the national economic crisis threatens to bring their business to its knees). There are plenty of lessons for tweens and teens about the perils of overspending, why it's important to have realistic values regarding money, and how riches can't shield you from the harsh realities of life and business. Expect some mild swearing ("damn" and "ass"), and many displays of excess. The movie becomes deeply personal in the second half, so younger viewers may feel uncomfortable watching how a family relates to each other in times of crisis, but there's a lot to learn here.
  • Families can talk about money. What do the Siegels' habits and experiences teach us about fiscal responsibility? Parents, talk to your kids about your own values regarding spending, saving, and other financial issues.
  • Do you find it easy to empathize with Jackie as her economic situation changes? Can you relate to her plight, despite her wealth and her lack of awareness? How does the movie make her a sympathetic character?
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