The King | Chicago Reader

The King

130 minutes 2002

Newly paroled from prison, a gruff, long-haired Athenian (a charismatic Vangelis Mourikis) journeys to a Peloponnesian village to fix up his late grandfather's ramshackle house and lead a quiet, bucolic life. But his arrival arouses the suspicions of the bigots at the local watering hole, and after he's joined by his beautiful, troubled girlfriend, the locals' enmity explodes with tragic violence. Greek director Nikos Grammatikos based this 2002 feature on a true story, though its treatment of mob violence and small-town prejudice recalls Fritz Lang's Fury and John Sturges's Bad Day at Black Rock. Its conviction and insight make for a thoroughly engrossing drama. In Greek with subtitles.

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