USA, Germany, France 2018; 109 mins
Is Elvis Presley a metaphor for the rise—and fall—of America? In his latest provocative nonfiction salvo, award-winning filmmaker and DOC10 Tributee Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger, Why We Fight, The House I Live In) goes on a musical road trip in Elvis’ 1963 Rolls Royce to chart the American dream, both its lofty ambitions and its bloated corruption. Equal parts entertaining and eviscerating, THE KING travels from Memphis to Las Vegas to New York City, charting Elvis’s surge to stardom, and inviting musicians (Emmylou Harris, Chuck D), celebrities (Ethan Hawke, Mike Myers) and commentators (Van Jones, David Simon) to sit in the backseat and opine about The King, his music and empire—and how it all came crumbling down. Jarecki masterfully interweaves archival footage of Elvis’s career with American history, creating a penetrating and “surprising” journey that will “expand and delight your perceptions” (Variety). “The best recent film about how the hell we got here; and more” (Indiewire).
Eugene Jarecki is an acclaimed dramatic and documentary filmmaker whose first short film, Season of the Lifterbees, premiered at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival. In the years since, Jarecki has twice won a Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize—in 2005 for Why We Fight and in 2012 for The House I Live In. Other Festival premieres include his Emmy-winning film Reagan (2011), and (T)ERROR(2015), of which Jarecki was executive producer.
Followed by Q+A