Synopsis by Michael Hastings
Shot against the barren sand dunes of Africa's Namib Desert, The King Is Alive is the fourth film to adhere to the stripped-down aesthetic of the Dogma 95 movement, and the first to bear the directorial stamp of the manifesto's co-author Kristian Levring. The improvised, shot-on-digital video production concerns the exploits of almost a dozen tourists who find themselves stranded when their bus breaks down miles from civilization. A thespian amongst the group, Henry (David Bradley), is the first to suggest that their situation may be more dire than it seems. His doubts send the rest of the folks -- including American travelers Ray (Bruce Davison), Liz (Janet McTeer), Ashley (Brion James), and Gina (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and a high-minded Parisian, Catherine (Romane Bohringer) -- into fits of fear and dread. To get their minds off the heat, hunger, and dehydration, the castaways stage an impromptu reading of Shakespeare's King Lear, which they can only fitfully remember. As their situations worsen, the tourists begin to take out their personal aggressions on one another. The King Is Alive was shown as part of the 2000 Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals.
bus, desert, ghost-town, stranded, tourist, mental-breakdown