King Is Alive

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Product Overview

A busload of mismatched tourists winds up stranded in the middle of the african desert in this tale of losing your bearings and finding yourself.


Studio MGM
SKU 40173326
UPC 027616880031
UPC 14 00027616880031
Format DVD
Release Date 9/16/2003
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note The fourth contribution to the grass roots Dogme 95 collective, THE KING IS ALIVE is a psychological horror film that uses a bleak yet beautiful African landscape to tell a haunting tale of human weakness and survival. The story concerns a group of vacationers who are traveling through the torturous Namibian desert. When they discover that the compass the driver, Moses (Vusi Kunene), has been using is actually broken, they quickly become terrified at the prospects of becoming stranded. This fear quickly turns into reality after the bus runs out of gas near a small abandoned village. The only resident, Kanana (Peter Khubeke), watches the foreigners slowly unravel with a resigned detachment. The travelers themselves--including the unhappily married couple Ray (Bruce Davison) and Liz (Janet McTeer), French intellectual Catherine (Romane Bohringer), flaky American Gina (Jennifer Jason Leigh), condescending Englishman Charles (David Calder), and sensitive actor Henry (David Bradley)--begin to lose their sanity ever so slowly, fighting with each other and themselves, until there appears to be no hope left. Henry's last attempt to keep the group unified, by engaging them in staging a performance of Shakespeare's KING LEAR, provides the weary individuals with an outlet that just might save them after all. Kristian Levring uses Dogme's tenets to breathe striking new life into an otherwise traditional genre.
New York Times "...Mr. Levring's vision of hell is vivid and stark....Touched with a pictorial sublimity rarely attempted within the constraints of Dogme aesthetic..." 05/11/2001 p.E22
Sight and Sound "...[The filmmakers] vividly portray the dramatic desert setting....It's a striking and intelligent use of DV technology..." 04/01/2001 p.52-3
Total Film "...THE KING IS ALIVE is more than a worthy addition to the Dogme canon -- it's a haunting, gripping film in its own right..." -- 4 out of 5 stars 06/01/2001 p.95
Los Angeles Times "...Great-looking....Stylish and gritty..." 05/11/2001 p.10
Chicago Sun-Times "...It's built from raw materials, needs and memories....This kind of story gives great opportunities to actors, who can test their emotional range..." 05/18/2001 p.29
Kristian Levring
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Bruce Davison
Cast & Crew
Lia Williams - Actor
Miles Anderson - Actor
Vusi Kunene - Actor
Peter Kubheka - Actor
Romane Bohringer - Actor
Brion James - Actor
Bruce Davidson - Actor
Chris Walker - Actor
David Bradley - Actor
David Calder - Actor
Janet McTeer - Actor
Jennifer Jason Leigh - Actor
Kristian Levring - Director
Vibeke Windelov - Producer
Patricia Kruijer - Producer
Anders Thomas Jensen - Writer
Kristian Levring - Writer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2001
Catalog ID 1008003
UPC 00027616880031
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 107 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
DVD, English, Hi-fi Stereo, Spanish, Subtitled, Trailers
Film Journal International A haunting and powerful ensemble work!
Kevin Thomas, L.A. Times Stylish and gritty...

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