In the English-language debut from writer-director Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang), a recluse (Daniel Craig) helps a woman (Halle Berry) and her multiple children when riots erupt in Los Angeles following the 1992 acquittal of the policemen charged with assaulting Rodney King.
Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Bracing, bold, and ferociously inventive, writer-director Deniz Gamze Ergüven's follow-up to her Academy Award–nominated feature debut Mustang stars Oscar winner Halle Berry and Daniel Craig as citizens of the same South Central neighbourhood. As Los Angeles races to the verge of the 1992 uprising, their lives are set on a collision course.
Millie (Berry) is a hardworking single mom with a soft spot for strays. When Kings begins, she already has eight children living in her house and will soon bring home another. Her neighbour Obie (Craig) is the local loose cannon, and the only white man in an area largely inhabited by African Americans, Latinos, and Koreans. With racial tensions running dangerously high, Millie and Obie would appear to be unlikely allies. Yet following the acquittal of four of the officers accused of beating Rodney King, these two must navigate the gathering chaos in the city to bring Millie's kids home safely.
The events depicted in Kings are, sadly, only more resonant today. But Ergüven isn't content to offer mere sociological diagnosis or cinematic reportage. Her sense of style is irreverent, flamboyant, and occasionally dreamlike, and her characters are fascinating, multi-dimensional individuals with conflicting desires and complex loyalties. This extends to Millie's kids who, not unlike the cloistered sisters of Mustang, face seemingly dire circumstances with energy, verve and — despite everything — hope.