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The White King

The White King

The hardest thing to break is the human spirit.Jan. 27, 2017 UK89 Min.
Your rating: 0
8.6 1,341 votes

Video trailer


Jörg Tittel



Djata is a care-free 12-year-old growing up in a brutal dictatorship shut off from the outside world. When the government imprisons his father, Peter, and Djata and his mother Hannah are labeled traitors, the boy will not rest until he sees his father again.

Original titleThe White King
IMDb Rating6.8 2,550 votes
TMDb Rating5.5 6 votes

(19) comments

  • Tin Tin-3June 18, 2016Reply

    An absolutely terrible film on numerous levels

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • HoBagolyJune 19, 2016Reply

    Insightful and fresh portrayal of oppression

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • BenjaminSmithJune 19, 2016Reply

    Heart-felt film with a touching message

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • KT8June 19, 2016Reply

    Quirky genre blender

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • wsarah-99159June 19, 2016Reply

    Standing up for yourself without the gimmicks

    I saw this at the opening at EIFF For once a movie that shows us an
    adolescent understanding how propaganda can blind you, and standing up
    for himself in a believable real life scenario. No sci-fi gimmicks or
    ninjas here- which is a reason why it may not appeal to some people.
    But this is real life, and if you are 12, these are the means you have
    at your disposal. How propaganda and politician’s lies can deceive us
    is very topical at the moment – in national and international politics.
    The narrative is at times disjointed and I was not sure if it reflected
    the episodic nature of the original novel or the disorientation of the
    child (an excellent Lorenzo Allchurch) facing the realisation his world
    is different from what he believes A particularly believable
    performance by Jonathan Pryce as the grandfather torn between duty and

  • inveralmondstarJune 20, 2016Reply


    I enjoyed this new film and also, as a small rule, I am generally
    really interested to see new directors’/producers work. Especially when
    the is a dearth of good stuff coming out of the established US/UK
    areas, well picked Edinburgh Film Festival!

    It was interesting and although one can see allusions, references etc
    to established works such as Orwell, Huxley and so on – well they do
    say there are only 7 stories in the world! – this is a new take on it.

    Loved the the boy lead actor, and Deyn (who I thought surprisingly good
    and natural) loved the cinematography and the story of a (particularly
    relevant today) dystopian society, there were others that also stood
    out, although I was a little surprised to see De Lint who I have not
    seen for a very long time on the big screen.

    Moody and thought provoking with one or two touches of brilliance. Not
    perfect (a first film n.b.) but the fact that I was engaged throughout
    says it all.

  • David SmithJune 26, 2016Reply

    Topical Dystopian Adventure for the 21st Century

    My wife and I caught this indi dystopian adventure at the Edinburgh
    Film Festival this year and were glad that we did.

    There are some excellent performances from a cast featuring new faces
    and established veterans.

    Without wanting to give too much away, the story is about a boy trying
    to make his way in a brutal totalitarian state, the location of which
    is never specified. The directors strike a good balance between the
    hopelessness of the boy’s situation and the touching wide-eyed optimism
    that he faces it with

    I particularly enjoyed the music in this film and would love to see the
    score appear on Spotify sometime.

    Some beautiful cinematography helps to make the film all the more

    I really hope this makes it out to a wider audience as it could be set
    to be a cult classic!

  • Christophe TaddeiJune 27, 2016Reply

    A vision of the future

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Helene von BoeventerAugust 18, 2016Reply

    The hopes and dreams of a young boy living under a totalitarian regime

    The opening credits of The White King are some of the best I’ve ever
    seen. A brilliant animation hints at the world we’re about to discover.
    Thankfully the film itself, does them total justice.

    It’s 1984, it’s Nazi Germany, it’s north Korea. The society we enter is
    ruled by a brutal, fascist regime that tries to eke all joy from its
    people. What sets this film apart is the fact that it’s seen through
    the eyes of a boy whose hope and humanity have not completely been
    shattered by those who dictate his future. Without revealing too much,
    the film explores the decisions he has to make and the relationships he
    keeps, when a close member of his family is accused of speaking out
    against the regime.

    It’s an acting feast with a sterling debut from Lorenzo Allchurch who
    plays the main character alongside actors du jour Agnes Deyn and Ólafur
    Darri Ólafsson, with film royalty Jonathan Pryce and Greta Scacci.

    The film is beautifully directed. Country landscapes are bathed in the
    dreamy sunlight of a late summer’s afternoon, in total contrast with
    the dark, oppressive ways of the White King dictatorship.

    It’s the future and it’s also the present; scarily reminiscent of the
    current political climate. But not without total hope. Go and see it!

  • Late-626September 30, 2016Reply

    Beautifully made dystopian first feature

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • frombethNovember 16, 2016Reply

    One of the best dystopian films I’ve seen

    I was fortunate enough to get to see a screening of The White King and
    can’t say enough about it. And given the current political mood here in
    the U.S., it is particularly relevant. I’ve seen plenty of dystopian
    films in my time, but The White King was refreshing in that directors
    Alex Helfrecht & Jorg Tittle chose to go against the typical non-stop
    violent, action genre to tell their story. As a matter of fact, the
    cinematography by Rene Richter and production design by Richard Bullock
    were some of the most beautiful I’ve seen. Not to mention the haunting
    original score by Joanna Bruzdowicz. Helfrecht and Tittel cast the film
    with some of the best British actors today— Jonathan Pryce, Fiona Shaw,
    Aggy Deyn and Greta Scacchi. 13 year old newcomer, Lorenzo Allchurch,
    given the task of carrying an entire film, skillfully rose to the
    occasion. I was actually moved to tears a few times throughout. I also
    appreciated the ending, which again, doesn’t give into ”what’s
    expected.” You can tell that the filmmakers had a vision and didn’t
    compromise which is so refreshing. If you get the chance to see this
    film, I HIGHLY recommend you do.

  • Paul FilbyJanuary 28, 2017Reply

    Powerful thought provoking drama

    The White King is dark, surreal yet very real at the same time. A
    dystopian fantasy where there’s no uprising, no large scale rebellion
    to overthrow the evil despot. As such it is a refreshing and unique
    film but if you are looking for another Hunger Games probably best to
    go elsewhere.

    There’s strong performances from a quality cast but special mention
    must go to newcomer Lorenzo Allchurch (Djata) who is in every frame and
    carries the film with a multi-layered and moving performance.

    Some scenes may seem a little disjointed and unresolved but you can see
    how everything that is happening has an effect on Djata and lead to a
    powerful and deeply affecting ending.

  • publicity-50January 30, 2017Reply

    strong first movie

    This was a visually a stunning film about a charmed Dystopian world
    filmed on location I think in Hungary. Uncomfortable to watch through
    the innocent boys’ eyes as he realizes all is not as it seems….. Very
    good acting from young newcomer and all the cast – some terrifying
    twins like something out of Mad Max. Jonathan Pryce always hits this
    characters spot on. Agyness Deyn very natural. Strangely topical in our
    current climate in 2017… Who really knows what is what and of course,
    a child sees things differently. Never read the book, which clearly has
    undertones of 1984 and other classics.A great first film from a new
    producing/writing/directing team.

  • whanrichardFebruary 8, 2017Reply

    Good film that makes you think after

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • oniongod-2February 13, 2017Reply

    Beautiful Dystopian Cautionary Tale

    This film is exquisite! Dystopia through the eyes of a child and the
    effect it has on him directly. The film moved me. The acting was spot
    on. The story was mature. AND the cinematography was vivid and lush. It
    also made my skin crawl as a citizen of a future dystopia=USA. The
    characters (and thoughtful ending) are what really resonate. Obviously
    this is for anyone who loves/likes the Hunger Games but this is smarter
    in many ways and more subtle…and more ambiguous…it the right way.
    This film makes me continue to love Jonathan Pryce very much. BUT
    Lorenzo Allchurch as Djata is a true discovery. He simmers and shines
    in this. His acting is superb and I could see him as the star of many
    Angry Young Man films in the future. Strong work by the Directors all

  • Colin ConnorFebruary 19, 2017Reply

    A bleak outlook on what a near future dystopia might look like.

    This movie is simply put amazing. In a near future dystopian society
    could look like. This movie has been put on my list of the movies to
    see in 2017. Independent cinema it it’s best. Djata a 12 year old boy
    from a lower class family that are labeled as traitors after his father
    is put in prison. Djata caught in the middle between his mother and his
    grand parents on his fathers side he must try to find a way to see his
    father again.

  • holroydsaMarch 11, 2017Reply

    Cleverly written, emotional and relevant to today’s global, political issues.

    A very intelligently thought out and directed film.

    Beautifully shot in a stunning landscape. The film is emotional, eerie,
    thought provoking, disturbing (in an interesting way) and a refreshing
    change to the day to day films released.

    If you want to watch a ‘change from the norm’ film I would highly
    recommend people to watch.

  • Rashmi DesaayiMarch 20, 2017Reply

    Awesome Story, Perfect Acting And Best Film Ever

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • thekarmicnomadApril 27, 2017Reply

    Very well made but very unsatisfying

    This follows a family living in a totalitarian dystopia.

    This is a hard film for me to review.

    First off, its production is very good. The camera work and direction
    is great. The characters are very well constructed and the acting is
    absolutely top notch. The world is quickly and deftly painted using
    iconography and suggestion. The world is oppressive but not overly
    brutal making it feel more real and dangerous. I enjoyed every minute
    of the first hour greatly and was gripped to see what was going to

    Here is the problem. Not much does happen. This film has plenty of
    story, but hardly any plot. Characters are introduced, and adversities
    befall our leads, but very little is resolved or explored. Any small
    victories the characters win aren’t exploited.

    The only analogy I can think of is if you made a film about a waitress
    who works in a bar in Star Wars. Sure dancing girls are fed to monsters
    and Jedi come in – but at the end of the day you are still watching
    someone serve drinks.

    Maybe it is my personal taste, I thought I was more open minded than
    this, but it seems I do need a certain degree of resolution.

    I kept the mark high because of the quality of the film making – not
    sure if I would recommend it though.

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