Night of the Kings Unclassified 18+
A young prison inmate is transformed into a modern-day Scheherazade in this electrifying tribute to the power of storytelling.
In a penitentiary on the outskirts of Abidjan, a new arrival quickly finds himself in the position of designated storyteller, crafting tales for his fellow inmates over the course of a single night – with the threat of death should he stop before daybreak. As he recounts the life of a notorious gangster, tracing his backstory through the recent past to 19th-century battles between African royals, the violent conflicts of his narrative echo around him in the jail’s own intrigues and power plays.
Shifting between crime drama, white-knuckle thriller and fantasy, and boasting an impressive cast – including versatile actor Denis Lavant (Holy Motors, MIFF 2012) in a scene-stealing supporting role – Night of the Kings is the captivating second feature by Ivorian filmmaker Philippe Lacôte (Run, MIFF 2014). Nominated and awarded at film festivals across the world since its 2020 Venice premiere, this intricate, distinctively West African spin on One Thousand and One Nights is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
“Dissolves myth and reality, performance and remembrance, into one whole … An assured, energetic piece of epic filmmaking.” – RogerEbert.com
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