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Without the King

A Film by Michael Skolnik

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Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, this acclaimed film tells an astonishing story of Africa’s last absolute monarchy, the Kingdom of Swaziland. King Mswati III, a distant figure out of touch with his home and country, rules by decree and lives a life of luxury together with his 12 wives, while his subjects suffer from crushing poverty and the world’s highest HIV infection rate. With unprecedented access, we meet headstrong first wife Queen LaMbikiza, eldest child and teen rapper, Princess Sikhanyiso, King Mswati himself, as well as many Swazi citizens who are plotting his downfall. Filmmaker Michael Skolnik captures the birth of a nation’s revolution, and the dawning awareness of a young Swazi princess as she realizes the contrast between her impoverished country and her lavish lifestyle.

What the Critics are Saying

"Stunning and frequently shocking." - All Movie Guide

"Captures the birth of a nation's revolution. A most inspiring expose!" - Hot Docs

"Soaring." - IndiePix

"Stunning, evocative, subversive!" - Film Journal International


See details about this film's theatrical run.

Buy the Without the King soundtrack, now available on iTunes.

Read the New York Times article about King Mswati III of Swaziland from September 5, 2008.

Features and Specifications

Bonus materials:

  • Extra Interviews
  • Bonus Scenes
  • Music Video: Rapping with the Princess
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Format: DVD
Release Year: 2007
Running Time: 84 minutes
Color: Color
Language: English & siSwati w/English subtitles

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