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The King Is Alive


Kristian Levring

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Plot Summary

Stranded in the heat of a barren African desert, eleven bus-passengers shelter in the remnants of an abandoned town. As rescue grows more remote by the day and anxiety deepens, an idea emerges: why not stage a play. However the choice of King Lear only manages to plunge this disparate group of travellers into turmoil as they struggle to overcome both nature's wrath and their own mortality. In the heat of the desert, emotional and sexual tensions surge around the play's production, and they are forced to confront their most raw emotions. With all inhibitions stripped away, their individual fight for survival makes them perform the ultimate role in front of each other - their own lives. This indie offering from IFC is a Dogme 95 film directed by Kristian Levring.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 67
  • Fresh: 41
  • Rotten: 26
  • Average Rating: 5.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: The unsparing, invasive naturalism of digital video, which seems specially calibrated to register the play of anxiety and distress on human faces, also records an inhuman landscape of undulating dunes and blinding sky. – A.O. Scott, New York Times, Jul 16, 2008

Fresh: Pulsing with color and movement in a vast, dune filled landscape, this is a whole new way of using a now familiar bag of tricks. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, Sep 7, 2011

Rotten: :ags in the middle, growing more interesting -- if hardly more original -- only as the situation deteriorates. – Lisa Nesselson, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: The King is Alive stands as a successful cinematic experiment and a gripping -- though a little too long -- study of humanity's most primitive instincts. – Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

the king is alive

i think this movie is amaizingly brilliant no not realy im just the first to revew and ur not ha ha hahaha

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The King Is Alive
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2002

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