Night Of The Kings
Cert: 15 Year: 2020 Length: 93 mins Language: French, Dyula and Nushi
Cinema Handout (PDF 223KB)
Score: 61.9% Attendance: 48
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".
Its vivid, genre-fluid investigation of the alchemical art of storytelling definitely hits the mark.
Mark Kermode, Observer
Bold, cleverly choreographed and gorgeously lensed by Tobie Marier-Robitaille. Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film
A stunning achievement, a folk tale told via poetry, dance and drama Anne Brodie, What She Said
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
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