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Today's Worlds > Ethnology

Elvis Week

A 49' documentary directed in 2001 by Geoff Harkness

Can 50.000 Elvis fans be wrong?

There was only one way to find out. Armed with three cameras, a tape full of songs about Memphis, and lots of energy, three friends headed to Memphis, Tennessee last summer. Their purpose? To document the madness and insanity that engulfs the city in its annual celebration of Elvis Presley's death.

The resulting film, ELVIS WEEK, turned out to be all that and more. Shot on the fly in only five days, the documentary goes beyond the stereotypical ‘good times’ of the Elvis festivities and explores the poverty and racism that are part of everyday life for many Memphians.

Filming everywhere from The Elvis Presley International 5K Run at Graceland to the suburbs for a chat with the King's former karate instructor to Memphis's notorious ghetto, Hollywood, the documentary truly captures both sides of the Elvis coin. The result is a film that not only entertains, but serves as a powerful ethnographic metaphor for modern life in America.

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