Set against the 2016 presidential election, THE KING takes a musical road trip across America in Elvis Presley's 1963 Rolls Royce. The mission, forty years after the singer's death, is to find the country he left behind – a nation that, like Elvis, started out young, beautiful, and promising, yet succumbed over time to the corrosive influences of addiction, money, and power.
THE KING paints a cultural portrait of the American dream at a critical time in the nation’s history. It explores, through music and verité, how a country boy lost his authenticity and became a “King,” while his country lost her democracy and became an empire.
“Elvis like America was young once and beautifully flawed like anybody but Elvis had his majesty when he landed on the world stage just as America had her majesty,” said director Eugene Jarecki during his turn at Deadline’s Sundance Studio to speak on his documentary film, The King.
“This is a movie very much about America. It’s a movie about the role that Elvis played in changes in the American story that have happened in the last hundred years. The way in which his life in many ways is a cautionary tale for America.”
Featuring cameos from the likes of Alec Baldwin, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, and, Mike Myers, the doc explores forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, where Jarecki takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across the country Presley left behind. From the deep south to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, a tapestry of luminaries and unknown Americans join the journey, expressing themselves in words and song.
The film made it's worldwide debut at Cannes Film Festival in 2017 & will debut in the US at Sundance in January 2018.