Streaming
  • March 26 (Friday) through April 8 (Thursday)
New Cinema

Night of the Kings is a work of Shakespearean fabulism and gripping, energetic cinema, an altogether original vision from breakout Ivory Coast filmmaker Philippe Lacôte.”

New York Film Festival

A mesmerizing mix of propulsive prison drama and One Thousand and One Nights fantasy, Ivorian writer-director Philippe Lacôte’s sophomore feature — a Canadian co-production — turned heads on the 2020 festival circuit and was shortlisted (but ultimately not nominated) for the Best International Feature prize at the upcoming 93rd Oscars. Inspired by the figure of the griot in West African oral tradition, Lacôte’s film sets a Scheherazade-like narrative within the confines of La MACA, Côte d’Ivoire’s largest penitentiary. There, a newly arrived prisoner (Bakary Koné) is forced by the ruthless head inmate (Steven Tientcheu) to serve as Roman” (storyteller): he must spin captivating tales until sunrise or face deadly consequences! A long, ritualistic night of performance ensues, as the frantic Roman conjures up stories of Zama King, a legendary hoodlum with origins stretching back to mystical, precolonial times. Leos Carax leading man Denis Lavant has a supporting role. The arresting visuals are by Montréal cinematographer Tobie Marier Robitaille. In French and Dyula with English subtitles.

Best Foreign Film
2021 Black Film Critics Circle Awards (USA)

Best Foreign Film
2021 African-American Film Critics Association Awards

A Lord of the Flies parable with the soul of a medieval fable …The film’s a tribute to the power of imagination and storytelling, and it’s like nothing you’ve seen before.”

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

C’est magnifique … One of the best films of 2020.”

David Fear, Rolling Stone
Media