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The King Is Alive (2000)

R | | Drama | 11 May 2001 (USA)
1:53 | Trailer

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When a bus breaks down in the desert, the passengers decide to stage "King Lear."




(with: inspiration from "King Lear"), | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Peter Khubeke ...
Kanana (as Peter Kubheka)
Vusi Kunene ...
Chris Walker ...
Lia Williams ...


While shifting airports by bus in Africa, a group of passengers is driven to the middle of nowhere in the desert by the driver that is following a defective compass. They run out of gas and they reach a ghost village inhabited by a single man, Kanana. One passenger that has experience with desert gives five advices to the others to survive in the spot, among them to keep the spirit high, while he travels through the desert seeking for help. One intellectual in the stranded group suggests the performance of King Lear to keep the morale of the survivors. Along the days, while hope decreases, the tension increases among the survivors. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

desert | tragedy | bus | stranded | village | See All (26) »


As the sand shifts...madness nears.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »



| |



Release Date:

11 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dogme 4  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$17,929 (USA) (11 May 2001)


$103,505 (USA) (10 August 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(TV) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

In Memoriam Brion James See more »


References Saturday Night Fever (1977) See more »


Sly Diva
Written by Cliff Hewitt (as C. Hewitt)
Courtesy of Monsoon Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Razor sharp, original and a little disturbing. Excellence in Dogme95' stile direction.
2 October 2006 | by (Canada, Toronto) – See all my reviews

A original and quite disturbing look at human psychology in a terrene rather different from what we are used to. It is rare that one can go ahead and call a film genius but in this instance it is not difficult. I have never seen a film which in such a simple manor built very strong character development, but this is what leads me to the location. Simple, visually stunning and to think about there seclusion from reality leaves you with only them. Which is why they are developed so well. They are raw and real to life each going through there own trials and tribulations.

The basis story is while a bus is driving through the desert with tourists, it takes a very inconvenient wrong turn. they end up deep in the desert. Watching them fall deep into hell if fascinating. The conclusion to this film is extremely powerful and without any doubt will stay memorable for a long time. Seeing how powerful the desert is against us is excellent and seeing King Lear being recited within is quite unbelievable. In conclusion the deserts power and symbolism which was taken for granted is more powerful than our education and lifestyles.Kristian Levring directed this project fantastically and even though Dogme95' ended around 6 years ago I would like to see him take more stylistic choices.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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