Lindy Vision performs in the desert, Elvis visits Rapid City, Native Americans and others protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, and much more in the following clip from filmmaker Eugene Jarecki’s kaleidoscopic travelogue The King, premiering tonight on PBS’ Independent Lens. “Changing anything, there’s always a fight,” a member of the Sioux Nation says in the excerpt, and The King is nothing if not a portrait of America at two moments of profound transformation.
Criss-crossing the country in Elvis’ refurbished 1963 Rolls-Royce, the award-winning director of Why We Fight and The House I Live In pulls together twinned slices of life, one focused on the musical icon’s career and legacy and the other on the contentious terrain of modern culture and politics. With appearances by Roseanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, David Simon, Dan Rather, and many other familiar faces, plus a host of interviews with ordinary citizens, an array of live performances, The King combines the road movie, the concert doc, and the biopic in novel ways, offering an impressionistic study of how the country’s changed—and hasn’t—since that Rolls came off the production line.
The King, from Independent Lens, premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on PBS. Check you local listings.