Kingdom, The: Directed by Lars von Trier

(Danish, Lars von Trier)

This disturbing, darkly hilarious epic film from Denmark’s enfant terrible, the audacious Lars von Trier, is set in a huge Copenhagen hospital built on a marshy medieval burial ground.
 
Von Trier made a splash in l991 with the noir thriller “Zentropa,” which was a big hit on the international arthouse circuit.
 
Shot on video for Danish TV, this four-and-a-half hour film has been a favorite on the on festival circuit due to the quirky nature of the material, bold approach, and eccentric (orange-sepia) visuals. 
 
The story opens by informing us that, "Cracks are starting to appear in the building's edifice," and it soon becomes clear that these "cracks" are allowing the spiritual world enter into the modern-day medical center, as well as the lives of the building's denizens. 
 
With blood bursting through a wall, followed by rock n' roll backed main titles, the yarn begins in a hilariously punchy style. A mock-lugubrious voice-over tells the history of a giant Copenhagen hospital, known as the Kingdom, built on ancient marshland once used as bleaching ponds. 
 
What follows is an outrageously entertaining and hilarious soap opera that plays like a madcap of mixing David Lynch’s “Twin Peak,” the TV series “E.R.,” with a touch of “The Exorcist” thrown into the mix for good measure.
 
The message is loud and clear: the spiritual world is ready to do battle with the arrogance of twentieth-century science.