6.4/10
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28 user 35 critic

The King Is Alive (2000)

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

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

Director:

Kristian Levring (uncredited)

Writers:

William Shakespeare (with: inspiration from "King Lear"), Kristian Levring | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Miles Anderson ... Jack
Romane Bohringer ... Catherine
David Bradley ... Henry
David Calder ... Charles
Bruce Davison ... Ray
Brion James ... Ashley
Peter Khubeke Peter Khubeke ... Kanana (as Peter Kubheka)
Vusi Kunene Vusi Kunene ... Moses
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Gina
Janet McTeer ... Liz
Chris Walker Chris Walker ... Paul
Lia Williams ... Amanda
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Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

As the sand shifts...madness nears.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

11 May 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dogme 4 See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,929, 13 May 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$103,505, 12 August 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TV) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the fourth film to be made according to the Dogme 95 rules. The Dogme 95 was founded by Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Søren Kragh-Jacobsen and Kristian Levring. See more »

Crazy Credits

In Memoriam Brion James See more »

Connections

References Grease (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Every 1's a Winner
(1978)
Written by Errol Brown
Performed by Hot Chocolate
Courtesy of Chocolate/RAK Publishing
EMI Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Intellectual horror movie
29 June 2000 | by flakfizerSee all my reviews

The only Dogma movie at the 2000 Cannes film festival, The King is Alive is, like all Dogmas, pumped with negative energy and pessimism, yet remains strangely humorous and always entertaining. It tells the story of a bus breakdown in the North African desert, and the decent into lunacy of the already-eccentric group of passengers, who eventually decide to put on an absurd production of King Lear to pass the time.

Admittedly, the injection of Shakespeare feels like something of a stunt, and some dissenters even complained that the desert was too unfairly photogenic for the Dogma principals. But The King is Alive grows horrific on its own terms, like a sophisticated Blair Witch Project but without an evil other for them (or us) to run away from.

The offbeat cast includes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Davison, the great David Bradley, the late Brion James, and Janet McTeer who, as a neurotic American, vulgarizes her way through a killer scene where she demands to know about her husband's taste in women.


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