fbpx The Barefoot Emperor | Gene Siskel Film Center
23rd Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival

The Barefoot Emperor

2019, Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, Belgium/Netherlands, 99 min.
With Peter Van den Begin, Udo Kier, Geraldine Chaplin

Show Times

  • Fri, Mar 6th 2:15pm
  • Tue, Mar 10th 6:00pm

“Elegant…an eye for poetry and introspection.”—Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter

An absurdist deadpan comedy for the age of Brexit, this odd and imaginatively mannered political satire is a follow-up to the 2017 mockumentary road movie THE KING OF THE BELGIANS. Going with the premise that the EU has dissolved and is reforming as a loose conglomerate of fragmented nation-states in search of a supreme leader, the filmmakers leave no bizarre angle unexplored. These range from the fascist-tinged pageantry that marks the birth of so-called Nova Europa to the surreal charade of life on the exclusive island where King Nicholas III of Belgium (Van den Begin) finds himself under the care of a sinister asylum director (Kier) following his near-fatal wounding during a reenactment of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Side-plots galore, sight gags, and ritualized dance numbers lead up to the fateful day when the yet-to-be-named emperor is revealed to his constituency in a TV special. In English, Dutch, French, and German with English subtitles. DCP digital. Courtesy of Be For Films. (BS)

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