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MACA (Maison d’Arrêt et de Correction d’Abijan) is the main prison of the Ivory Coast’s capital and a world unto itself. Lacôte’s second feature follows Roman (Bakary Koné), a new arrival, who is forced to entertain fellow inmates with stories throughout his first night or face death at the hands of the prison’s fading overlord, Blackbeard. Roman gives them a magical-realist version of the rise of Zama King, leader of the “microbes”, Ivory Coast’s terrifying youth gang. Meanwhile, power struggles rage inside the jail. A grimly authentic film from Lacôte, whose mother served time in MACA, elaborating on a real prison tradition and with a cast including former inmates.
Night Of the Kings is the winner of 11 international awards, including the Silver Hugo for Best Cinematography and Best Sound at the 2020 Chicago International Film Festival, the Amplify Voices Award at Toronto International Film Festival 2020 and the 2021 African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Foreign Film. It was also shortlisted at the 2021 Oscars for Best International Feature Film.
’…bold, cleverly choreographed and gorgeously lensed by Tobie Marier-Robitaille. From ancient story elements, Lacôte has created a true original.’ - Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film.
’…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
‘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.’ - Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter.
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Bakary Koné, Steve Tientcheu, Jean Cyrille Digbeu, Rasmané Ouédraogo, Issaka Sawadogo