Review of Riget (1994)

Moving picture, 4.7 hours

Review refers to both seasons, which were three years apart.

Denmark’s most prestigious hospital is known as a bastion of hard science, but while alternative medicine and occultism seep into the people, cold moisture from the underlying swamp seeps into the walls. The place is cracking up. Tormented spirits demand their due.

An imitation of Twin Peaks (1990) blows up into a millennial-apocalyptic bravura supporting Dogme 95. Sweden’s two funniest TV shows of the following years, Percy tårar (1996) and Varan-TV (1997), both contain strong allusions to Riget. The show’s popularity in my country owes a lot to the fact that one of its most central characters is a horribly self-important and cunning Swedish nationalist who finishes every episode in the first season standing on the roof of the hospital in view of a nuclear power plant on the Swedish coast, screaming “Danskjävlar!” (“Danish scum!”).

moving picture fiction series