Keswick Film Club - Night Of The Kings

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Sunday 28th November 5:10 PM

Night Of The Kings 

Director: Philippe Lacôte Country: Ivory Coast
Cert: 15 Year: 2020 Length: 93 mins Language: French, Dyula and Nushi
Night Of The Kings

Programme Notes

Cinema Handout (PDF 223KB)

Audience Reaction

Score: 61.9% Attendance: 48


  • More details on this film at the Internet Movie Database


Imagine being sent to prison in an isolated place, miles from anywhere. Now imagine that this prison is run by an inmate with total power, and, finally, imagine that he tells you that you have to tell a story to the whole prison or you will die. This is Roman's fate. "If you’ve ever floundered when asked to tell a joke off the cuff, you’ll feel Roman's pain. Except he has it much worse. He has to weave an entire story. All night long. Surrounded by 200 jeering prisoners nicknamed things like 'Half-Mad' and 'Petrol'. Not ideal". – Huw Oliver, Time Out.

Our first film from the Ivory Coast is inspired by the director, Philippe Lacôte's childhood memories of visiting 'La Maca' prison. "What follows is a strange blend of tough prison drama, historical allegory (pre- and post-colonial worlds pointedly collide) and theatrical performance piece, with mime, poetry, dance and oral history intertwined in a swirling cinematic maelstrom" – Mark Kermode, Observer.

Huw Oliver continues: "So the basis of this story is another story: the ruminations of this young kid (Koné Bakary, fear and anxiety welling in his eyes), whose real name we never find out. Through his narrative, we learn of the period when royals still reigned over the Côte d'Ivoire. The civil war that shook the country in the mid-2000s. And a certain gangster called Zama King".


open_quote Its vivid, genre-fluid investigation of the alchemical art of storytelling definitely hits the mark. close_quote Mark Kermode, Observer

open_quote Bold, cleverly choreographed and gorgeously lensed by Tobie Marier-Robitaille. close_quote Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

open_quote A stunning achievement, a folk tale told via poetry, dance and drama close_quote Anne Brodie, What She Said



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