NIGHT OF THE KINGS
In this awe-inspiring ode to storytelling, an inmate at an Ivorian prison where rival gangs vie for power must continue telling a tale until sunrise to avoid certain death.
Merging the gritty and the fantastical, Phillipe’s Lacôte’s NIGHT OF THE KINGS is an imaginative, tension-filled descent into a real-life West African prison ritual of overnight storytelling by lamplight. Within the walls of Ivory Coast’s notorious MACA prison, no guards can be seen patrolling cell blocks overrun by inmates on the night of the red moon. The current “dangoro,” or leader of the inmates, is the very ill Blackbeard (Steve Tientcheu, PFF28’s LES MISÉRABLES), who uses the ominous lunar occurrence to delay an inevitable coup by appointing a new storyteller (or “Roman”) to share an invented tale to appease the eager prisoners. A recently arrived pickpocket (Koné Bakary) is given the title, but as the midnight oil burns he begins to discover that the many Romans that have come before haven’t lived to see the sun rise. Featuring a wide array of soul-stirring performances, including a turn from the legendary French actor Denis Lavant (Holy Motors), NIGHT OF THE KINGS immerses the viewer in a world of vibrant imagery and fantastic lore never before captured in cinema.
CAST: Koné Bakary, Steve Tientcheu, Rasmané Ouédraogo, Issaka Sawadogo
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