The King Is Alive (2000)

R  |   |  Drama  |  11 May 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,666 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 29 user | 35 critic | 25 from

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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3 wins & 2 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


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 »


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

Dogme is Theatre
31 October 2005 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

I really like this film. I'd come sense that many people dislike the phenomenon Dogme, especially this one. When I first heard about the plot and the story I thought it sounded too trivial, but I must say, this film is so much more than the frame. The ability to make people this cruel, and making us believe it, is fantastic, it's like watching Dogville or different Second War films. That's why Dogme is so fantastic. It's the acting which is in focus, not special effects and speed. Dogme gives the actors more freedom to develop their characters (like they do in theater). This tragic story, makes us questioning the humanity of the general human mind, and makes our ideals crack - just like the story of King Lear. I love this film.

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