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Night of the Kings

La Nuit des Rois

Philippe Lacôte | 2020 | 93 MINS
France | Subtitles
Director Phillipe Lacôte brings magical realism and Ivorian narrative custom to an unlikely setting in this dazzling prison movie.

In Detail

Young Roman, (Bakary Koné) has been incarcerated in La Maca penitentiary in Ivory Coast. He soon meets Blackbeard the de facto ruler of the inmates. Blackbeard is a man on the verge of death. He is too sick to lead. And the laws of the prison dictate that a Dangôro, who can no longer lead, must take his own life.

Such a transfer of power cannot come easily, of course; usurpers, are already nipping at his heels. So it’s up to Roman to keep the inmates distracted through the night by telling stories. He must tell them as if his life depends on it - because, like Blackbeard’s, it does.

This is magical stuff, tense and feverish and unforgettable.

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