Originally published by (Re)search my Trash, December 2016
On the first look, it’s a perfect tableau of a perfect family… but only on first look, once one digs a little deeper one finds secret upon secret, from slightly incestuous cravings to possible murder in fact. But the more one digs, the more one digs up, going back for generations, and in fact to the original sin and Adam and Eve themselves.
Now I have to be totally honest, this might not be the best synopsis of The Kingdom of Shadows, as the film is not so much a narrative movie as one one has to feel oneself through, using the powers of imagination and association to fill in the (intentional) gaps – and all of this works very much in favour of the movie here, a film that does never try to make perfect sense, instead using impressive, often tableau-like imagery to get its point across, with the pictures (including long static camera shots) often looking very staged and almost silent movie-like, while perfect use is made of the old-fashioned sets and uses old-fashioned effects to heighten the out-of-time feel of the film. Sure, a film like this might not be for everybody, but those with open minds are up for a fascinating journey.