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THE KINGDOM

Denmark, 1994 (MIFF 1995)

Director: Lars von Trier

The Kingdom is more of an epic than a small screen serial-a truly macabre work of diabolical diversity with an unpredictable narra­tive, harbouring a tender ghost story at the core of its haunted heart.

We are introduced to the colossal labyrinthine hospital, the Kingdom of the title But what has been happening within the hallowed walls—that are soon oozing blood-seems to have little to do with science and more to do with power and malicious practice.

A stirring blend of satire, B-grade horror and soapy romance, The Kingdom operates on many levels, seamlessly suturing together its various parts: a love story; medical students plagued by nightmares; scenes of hypnotism and voodoo; closet dissections and organ recycling; bungled brain surgery; murderous family secrets with children preserved in formaldehyde, and sim­mering supernatural retribution.

This spooky epic is a Danish Twin Peaks, administered with healthy doses of irony, a vivi-sectionist's eye for cross-cutting plot lines and phantasmagorical cinematic verve.

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