“Elvis like America was young once and beautifully flawed like anybody but Elvis had his majesty when he landed on the world stage just as America had her majesty,” said director Eugene Jarecki during his turn at Deadline’s Sundance Studio to speak on his documentary film, The King.
“This is a movie very much about America. It’s a movie about the role that Elvis played in changes in the American story that have happened in the last hundred years. The way in which his life in many ways is a cautionary tale for America.”
Featuring cameos from the likes of Alec Baldwin, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, and, Mike Myers, the doc explores forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, where Jarecki takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across the country Presley left behind. From the deep south to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, a tapestry of luminaries and unknown Americans join the journey, expressing themselves in words and song.
“The country in many ways faces a very similar choice about its own life that Elvis faced about his,” said Jarecki. “We face similar challenges in the way our grandeur, our authenticity, our democracy has been undermined and threatened by capitalism, by money, by the power.” He expounded, “The money and the power unraveled Elvis and I think it runs the risk of totally unraveling us unless we honor the example of his death and live up to something better than that.”