Without the King
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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… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Without the King transitions nicely from standard operating crisis report to a portrait of a hopeful political awakening."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"Without the King, Michael Skolnik's subtly perceptive documentary, avoids a tone of first-world outrage; leaning more toward understanding than blame, the film examines a country forced to choose between tradition and survival."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"Powerful and enlightening."
‑ Tim Cogshell, Boxoffice Magazine
"It's a shame the film doesn't cast a wider net into deeper political waters."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"Skolnik, who directs and scripted Without the King, brings vivid, highly critical life to this hapless country."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"Director Michael Skolnik's generically crafted documentary on the precarious conditions of Swaziland, last functioning monarchy in Africa, is a curious mixture of banality and revelation."
‑ Ernest Hardy, L.A. Weekly
"Director Michael Skolnik gained extraordinary access to both Swaziland's royal family and its political underground, and delivers an unflinching portrait of a country where life expectancy is the shortest in the world."
‑ Joshua Land, Time Out New York
"Pashu straddles a particular and complicated divide in Without the King, Michael Skolnik's intriguing documentary about the last kingdom in Africa."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"[An] intelligent but incomplete-feeling documentary."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A documentary about the last ruling King in Africa which shows that the offspring of absolute political power is injustice."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Without the King is a fascinating documentary about a little-known African tyrant, King Mswati III of Swaziland, a country the size of New Jersey with a population of 1.1 million."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"King fascinates on many levels as it ticks off intriguing sociological facts about this impoverished nation."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"... the ultimate experience of Skolnik's film is seeing a country that seems about to disappear from the face of the earth."
‑ Harry Chotiner, culturevulture.net
"Penetrating study of greed and feudal backwardness in Africa's last absolute monarchy."
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"Bio-pic about the last reigning monarch on the continent governing just about the only sub-Saharan nation untouched by civil war or ethnic cleansing, despite the world's lowest life expectancy at 31."
‑ Kam Williams, NewsBlaze
More reviews for Without the King on Rotten Tomatoes

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