The King is Alive

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  • Dogma, Drama , produced in 2000 Sweden, Denmark, USA
  • Actors: Bruce Davison, Jennifer Jason Leigh
  • Directed by: Kristian Levring
  • Rating: 6.3 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: 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.
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