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The Barefoot Emperor

Feature film, 2019, 95 min.

Once again, Peter Van den Begin plays the dryly comedic focal point of this follow-up to festival smash King of the Belgians, about a wimpy king trying to return to his restless homeland. After viewers have been brought up to speed on the last part's events, King Nicolas ends up in Sarajevo, where the assassination of Franz Ferdinand is being re-enacted. The Belgian head of state is wounded and wakes up in a Croatian sanatorium, where the semi-crazed director (Udo Kier at his best) gives patients the names of former heads of state. From then on he is addressed as Brezhnev. Incidentally: the end of Belgium has led to the collapse of the European Union and the roles for the New Europe need to be assigned.

It's all about theatre and staging in The Barefoot Emperor, making this the opposite number of fake documentary King of the Belgians. Show politics taken to absurd levels with venomous asides proving just how contemporary this satire is.

won prizes

  • NL - Rotterdam International Film Festival IFFR selection

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Cinematographer - DoP


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Minority Coproductions

NL films on Film festivals 2020

NL films Berlin EFM market 2020