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

Referenced in Det danske dogmeri (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Blood on the Moon
(2000)
Composed by Derek Thompson
Production: Derek Thompson (as Hoodlum Priest) at Alpha 60
See more »

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User Reviews

The king may be alive -
6 November 2001 | by rulerattraySee all my reviews

  • but the movie is deader'n a doornail. It reminded me of "The Claim", another darling of some of our local newspaper critics. Both films are pretentious and dull, with no characters to care about, and nothing much to say. ("The Claim", I guess, is saying that if you sell your wife and baby, you'll feel bad about it later even if you've made a lot of money in the interim. Well, duhhh!) "The King is Alive" is apparently saying that bus drivers not only navigate by compass in the desert, but are stupid enough not to notice that their compasses haven't moved a fraction of an inch over several score miles. It is also saying people waiting around for rescue on the desert are going to get dirty, grow beards and get upset, which I already knew. What I didn't know, was that people in such situations will engage in amateur theatrics. Really? Okay, but so what?


A camera placed within five inches of the character's face may be of interest to a dermatologist, but brother, dialogue and body language reveals character, not extreme close ups.

I couldn't make it to the end of "The King is Alive". I left as soon as one of the characters, presented as thirst-crazed and exhausted before he finds the body of the would be rescuer who set off several days before, manages to stroll back to the group somehow refreshed.

Neither film maker seems to have taken to heart the concept of shot-continuity. Come on guys, you MUST have heard of it in film-making 101. Or aren't they teaching that anymore?

If this is Danish Dagme, I'll take Dagmar.


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