Night of the Kings
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A young man is sent to “La Maca,” a prison in the middle of the Ivorian forest ruled by its inmates. As tradition goes with the rising of the red moon, he is designated by the Boss to be the new “Roman” and must tell a story to the other prisoners. Learning what fate awaits him, he begins to narrate the mystical life of the legendary outlaw named “Zama King” and has no choice but to make his story last until dawn.
- Steve Tientcheu
- Koné Bakary
- Issaka Sawadogo
- Denis Lavant
Atom User Reviews
Night of Kings aesthetic dissonance is discombobulating, but the discombobulation is surprisingly pleasing in its headiness, as Lacôte plays with naturalist filmmaking and spectacle right out of The Lord of the Rings, intertwining the two so much that they are, at the end, inseparable from one another.
This captivating hybrid of a movie mixes fairy-tale and storytelling elements with a vividly drawn backdrop of heightened realism — no one would mistake this prison for a luxury resort — and relies on images and sounds as much as the human voice to tell its multiple stories.
This is an atmospherically shot film about African oral culture, about riots, street musicians and storytellers. But it also uses the space and denizens of the prison as a metaphor for the divisions and tensions within Ivorian society.