Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Sandwiched tightly in between South Africa and Mozambique, the nation of Swaziland sits poised on the brink of revolution. It also appears to exist outside of modern history, as the last remaining monarchical African state. The country battles such problems as a 43-percent AIDS/HIV rate, terrorist cells littering the countryside, and -- most significantly -- a large, angry populace ready to revolt. Meanwhile, the Swazi king, Mswati III, price shops for a fleet of limousines and evinces a frightening lack of touch with his country's needs by banning political parties and leaning heavily on an ineffectual constitution. As unrest erupts outside of the palace, a quieter storm brews within, springing from the political discontent of the king's heiress, rapper Princess Sikhanyiso. In his documentary Without the King, filmmaker Michael Skolnik cross-sections this regime to provide a series of stunning and frequently shocking revelations and insights about a nation that may soon be rocked by the turbulence of sociopolitical change.
Africa, AIDS, king, monarch, poverty, princess, social-change, starvation, unrest