Miami Film Society Spotlight: THE LAST KING

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Jakob Oftebro i Birkebeinerne

One of the best perks of being a Miami Film Society member is that it broadens your cinematic horizons. With free monthly screenings specially curated by the Miami Film Festival’s expert programmers, it’s easy to find yourself seeing films you may have never sought out on your own. And that’s when the magic happens. We ask that you give us the benefit of the doubt, and in return, you may find yourself with an unexpected new favorite flick.

Past 2015-16 Miami Film Society titles include Trumbo, Listen to Me Marlon, Trash, Viva, 10,000 KM and The Rebound, all of which were released to critical acclaim. Star-studded Hollywood tale Trumbo went on earn a Best Actor nomination for Bryan Cranston, while Trash still stands today as a true audience favorite. Miami Film Society members were lucky to experience Viva months in advance of its theatrical release. Now, the title is a breakout hit, entering its 4th week at MDC’s Tower Theater.

Which leads us to this month’s title: The Last King. Keeping with the trend of exploring all different types of films and genres, The Last King is one very much unlike this year’s previous MFS titles. Based on true events, the film is set in civil war-ravaged Norway. Aided by rebel group the Birch Legs, the Norwegian King fights for survival against the Church’s Bishopsmen, who seek to supplant the throne. On his deathbed after falling ill,  the King soon welcomes a son, born in secrecy, as half the Kingdom wants him dead.  Tasked with guarding the only remaining heir to the throne, two Birch Legs warriors, Skjervald (Jakob Oftebro) and Torstein (Game of Thrones’ Kristofer Hivju), escape with the infant and must traverse treacherous landscapes to protect their future King.


This is a medieval epic in which most of the action takes place on skis amidst the vast snowy wilderness, breathing new life into a genre we all know and love. And in fact, the tale at the center of the film is still celebrated today in the form of the American Birkebeiner ski marathon, North America’s largest annual ski race, which gathers together an estimated 40,000 participants and spectators every year. In honor of Norway’s history, they reenact the historic escape of the Birkebeiner warriors – the very story that is being brought to life on the big screen in The Last King.

This is an extraordinary journey, one that deftly mixes the scale of a summer blockbuster with the impact and intelligence of our usual programming. Taking place during the 13th century, this is a true epic, a big-scale film that deserves to be seen in a real theater setting.

The Last King will have a special screening at MDC’s Tower Theater on Wednesday, May 25th at 7PM. Tickets are free for Miami Film Society members, and $13 for the general public. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

Lauren Cohen

Lauren Cohen is Miami Film Festival's Co-Director of Programming. She also runs the Festival’s membership level for young professionals, CineClub. Learn more about Lauren on Programmers.