The King is Alive

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Released 2001

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Movie Summary

Director:
Kristian Levring
Released:
2001
Rating:
R
The King is Alive is a 2000 drama directed by Kristian Levring that was inspired by the famous William Shakespeare play entitled "King Lear." The story revolves around a group of tourists visiting Africa who find themselves lost in the desert due to a bus malfunction. They ended up in the immense desert because the driver was following directions on a broken compass. The heat and the emptiness around them is hard to endure, and they start looking for signs of a human presence. They reach an isolated and deserted village inhabited by one man, Kanana (Peter Kubheka). As their desperation and aggressiveness due to the intolerable heat grow in intensity, one of the tourists suggest that they stage the play King Lear to keep their minds occupied and spirits elevated. The actor's play takes unexpected turns as they are forced to face their most deeply rooted frustrations and sexual desires in an hostile environment that predisposes to aggression and sincerity.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    The cast, working in conditions that appear to have been only slightly less dire than those portrayed in the film, work together in a grim, convincing improvisatory rhythm.

  • 70

    Variety

    Simultaneously gritty and cerebral.

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    Stylish and gritty, The King Is Alive lacks the impact of revelation that might have made the journey worth taking.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Independent, Foreign Language