VIFF 2017: The King’s Choice takes on the insidiousness of fascism


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      This fascinating (if long at 130 minutes) time capsule takes us back to a little-known chapter of the Second World War.

      When Hitler invaded non-Slavic countries, he attempted subterfuge by offering to “protect” Aryan allies. This depended on the compliance of local authorities, like Henri Philippe Pétain in France and Vidkun Quisling in Norway. We never meet the second traitor here, even if his name lives on. Instead, the lavishly mounted film concentrates on the aging King Haakon VII (Bond villain Jesper Christensen, in a sharp change of pace), who must balance his integrity with the need to save lives. Most intriguingly, his counterpart is a German career diplomat (Karl Marcovics) forced to walk a similar tightrope to protect the king from overwhelming militarism. The blue-tinged movie has surprising resonance today, when we struggle to put aside passivity in the face of sense-numbing violence and betrayal. 



      Places to go nearby

      Approx. 15 minutes away