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 »



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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

A brilliant and yet cruel tale of the human condition by the words of Shakespeare's King Lear.
30 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

A brilliant and yet cruel tale of the human condition by the words of Shakespeare's King Lear. The true nature of this film is in the relationship between the rawness of the desert and the fragility of the social being. Amazingly, the spirit of the desert witnesses the demise of a group of people who are facing death, acting Shakespeare to deceive it and ironically get deceived by fate itself at the end. The realistic notion, given by hand-held camera as well by the wonderful colors captured, will dive one's in the crucial themes of the movie: death, love and hope.

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