The Man Who Could Be King 45:00, 2004 (Ref: AF04418)


The Man Who Could Be King is the extraordinary story of one man who is torn between fulfilling his father’s dying wish and carrying out his own duties as a father. Adongo Akway Cham is an Anyuak tribesman from Southern Sudan who escaped civil war to live peacefully in Canada. No sooner had he settled in Ottawa than his father – the tribe’s King – died and Cham was chosen over all his brothers to be the successor. Cameras follow Cham for three years as he struggles with his kingly duties and his attempts to settle his family in Canada. From the first moment he receives the fateful telephone call – telling him his father is dead and that he is now King – Cham is in conflict: “From the beginning I have tried to say no. I don’t want to go and take that responsibility. But who will go and take it if not me?” His wife knows what decision she would prefer – and her face speaks volumes about the burden she has endured with the children in an Ethiopian refugee camp. The film opens in the bitter cold of an Ottawa winter – a sharp contrast to the hot Saharan climate of his native Sudan. Cham works for minimum wage at a recycling plant. Viewers witness Cham’s desperate attempts to free his wife and eight children from the camp; return to be crowned King in Anyuak land – a region plagued by war and poverty; and struggle with destiny, life, his children and his people.

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