Night of the Kings

Raw, energetic and inventive drama about a man who must use his storytelling skills to survive in La MACA, a prison deep in the Ivorian jungle.

Please note that this film is in French and Dyula, with Dutch subtitles.
Time & Tickets

When a young man is incarcerated in Côte d’Ivoire’s largest prison, he finds himself entering a world as dangerous and complex as the one he was navigating on the outside. While ostensibly overseen by a team of rundown guards, the prison is really ruled by Blackbeard. On his last legs, and seeing his power waning, Blackbeard makes one final play to maintain his power over the prison: on the night of the red moon, he designates MACA’s newcomer ‘Roman.’

In a griot role – the role of a western African musician/entertainer – that recalls Scheherazade in ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, Roman must recount a story until the sun rises if he wants to keep his life and stop the prison from falling into chaos. Roman spins a story about Zama King, a notorious gang leader whose life spanned from ancient times to the fall of Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, and was filled with intrigue and magic.

With his second feature film, writer-director Philippe Lacôte refuses all genre expectations, flowing between a prison drama and visually stunning sequences that depict Roman’s elaborate tale. Further incorporating song and dance (and a cameo by Denis Lavant), NIGHT OF THE KINGS is a mesmerizing meditation on the art of storytelling and its role in survival. (source:

Philippe Lacôte, Canada, France, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, 2020, 93 min. French, Dyula & Nouchi spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Denis Lavant, Bakary Koné, Steve Tientcheu, Jean Cyrille Digbeu, Rasmané Ouédraogo, Issaka Sawadogo.
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