The King

Director Eugene Jarecki
Germany, United Kingdom /107 min. / 2017 / English (VOSE)

Elvis Presley as the definitive metaphor of the American dream. Musicians, analysts and ordinary folks cruise his Rolls Royce through the history and soul of a nation embarking on the Trump era.

Four decades after the death of the (white) king of r’n’r, director Eugene Jarecki and co-producer Steven Soderbergh take us on an ambitious choral road trip aboard his ’63 Rolls Royce to cross the country physically, emotionally and politically. From Mississippi to Las Vegas, with stops in Memphis, Nashville, NYC and Hollywood, the heroic and tragic figure of Elvis stands as the paradigm of the American dream, its truths and bull. The voices of old friends, neighbours and collaborators are added to that of analysts and political activists, citizens of all ages and conditions, and musicians such as John Hiatt, Emmylou Harris, Chuck D (Public Enemy), The Handsome Family, M. Ward, Mary Gauthier and Immortal Technique, actors like Alec Baldwin, Mike Myers and Ethan Hawke and authors such as David Simon (The Wire) and the cultural essayist Greil Marcus. And, in a marvellous cinematographic exercise in musical sociology, they all offer a critical vision of the greatness and miseries of a nation / empire in decline while, on TV, Donald Trump clinches the presidency. A fresh look at a cultural icon we’ve seen a thousand times before.

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The King
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DOCUMENTARY DETAILS
Screenwriters
Eugene Jarecki, Christopher St John
Producers
Christophier Frierson, Georgina Hill, Eugene Jarecki, Christopher St John
Cinematography
Tom Bergmann, Christopher Frierson, Étienne Sauret
Editors
Simon Barker, Alex Bingham, Èlia Gasull, Laura Israel
Protagonists
Ethan Hawke, Chuck D, Lana Del Rey, Emmylou Harris, Leo Bud Welch, John Hiatt, Ashton Kutcher, Mike Myers, M. Ward, Immortal Technique, Greil Marcus, Alec Baldwin