The Kingdom | Chicago Reader

The Kingdom

I'm tempted to call this 279-minute 1994 Danish miniseries by Lars von Trier (Breaking the Waves) a Scandinavian Twin Peaks, but that would be a serious injustice to David Lynch. The arch, smart-ass humor of this supernatural soap opera set in an allegorical hospital tends to be a lot less droll (though it has its moments), and thanks to crude video transfers the visual interest is relatively minimal, apart from the novelty of using documentary techniques to handle fantasy material. Codirected by Morten Arnfred and cowritten by Niels Vorsel and Tomas Gislason, this might be more fun on TV once a week, which is what it was designed for; the plot involves ghosts, seances, organ transplants, voodoo, hypnosis, a secret lodge of doctors, and a bizarre pregnancy, among other crosscutting plot developments. Presiding over much of the action are a petulant Swedish doctor (Ernst-Hugo Jaregard) who hates Danes and a medium disguised as a patient (Kirsten Rolffes) who holds seances.

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