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Night of the Kings

Directed by Philippe Lacôte
2020
Côte d’Ivoire
93 minutes
Unclassified 18+
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Philippe Lacôte’s multiple award-winning drama blends myth, ritual, magic and politics in the tale of a young prisoner in Côte d'Ivoire who must tell an epic story to save his life.
There has never been a prison movie like this before. A major hit at festivals including Venice and Toronto, and the winner of 11 international awards, Night of the Kings begins with Lacôte’s intimate knowledge of Côte d'Ivoire’s notorious La MACA prison. When a frightened young pickpocket arrives at La MACA he’s chosen to fulfil the role of “Roman” (storyteller), a key player in the transition of power from one dominant inmate to the next. On the night of the red moon Roman must entertain his audience until dawn or face deadly consequences. Song, dance, improvised drama and flashbacks to Côte d'Ivoire’s turbulent past are woven into Lacôte’s stunningly original and utterly compelling cinematic virtuoso piece.
Like all good storytellers, [Lacôte] leaves you wanting more.
Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
An assured, energetic piece of epic filmmaking, one that celebrates how storytelling, oration, and folklore teach us about our past so we might change our present.
Robert Daniels, RogerEbert.com
Original Title
La nuit des rois
Year
2020
Classification
Unclassified 18+
Country
Côte d’Ivoire, France, Canada, Senegal
Language
In French, Dioula and Nouchi with English subtitles
Director
Philippe Lacôte
Producer
Delphine Jaquet, Yanick Létourneau, Ernest Konan, Yoro Mbaye
Cast
Koné Bakary, Steve Tientcheu, Denis Lavant
Screenwriter
Philippe Lacôte
Cinematographer
Tobie Marier Robitaille
Editor
Aube Foglia
Australian Distributor
Rialto Distribution
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