King of the Belgians
Belgium/Netherlands/Bulgaria. Dirs. Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth. 2016, 94 mins. With Peter van der Begin, Bruno Georis, Lucie Debay. In English, Flemish, French, Bulgarian with English subtitles. This “enormously appealing” (ورائٹی) faux-documentary is a delightfully loopy comic road trip through Eastern Europe. While visiting Istanbul, the (somewhat awkward) King of Belgium receives word that Wallonia has seceded from his country, a national crisis that necessitates his immediate return. But when a sudden electrical storm makes flying impossible, he finds himself forced to make the journey by car. Joining a bus full of female folk singers, the king embarks on a wayward odyssey through the Balkans that will take him from a Bulgarian yogurt festival to a drunken night in Serbia, all captured on camera by a wry British documentarian along for the ride. Played to the deadpan hilt, this irresistibly goofball geopolitical satire touches delicately on the state of Europe today.