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The King Is Alive (2000)

R  |   |  Drama  |  11 May 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,659 users   Metascore: 52/100
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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 »
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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


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 »


Featured in Side by Side (2012) See more »


Every 1's a Winner
Written by Errol Brown
Performed by Hot Chocolate
Courtesy of Chocolate/RAK Publishing
EMI Records
See more »

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User Reviews

A consuming well acted film.
15 January 2003 | by (North Hollywood, Ca) – See all my reviews

I cannot pretend to understand all the subtleties of the film as I am sure they are tied metaphorically to the subtext of King Lear, which I am only remotely familiar with. However, this film captured my attention and kept it. Wonderfully acted and refreshing casual with it's loose style, the human drama and character relationships are immediately captivating. There are some slow sections and bits where the movie strains belief, especially in the sudden decision to do a play, but overall a worthy experience for those, like myself, bored with shallow, explosion ridden, special-effects driven blockbusters. At any rate, this is one of those where you have to decide for yourself.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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