7. Świdnica Film Festival

Night of the Kings


Spektrum competition

In program

26.10.2021 / 15:00
Kup bilet

Director: Philippe Lacôte

Producers: Samuel Teisseire, Delphine Jaquet, Ernest Konan, Yanick Létourneau, Yoro Mbaye

Crew: Koné Bakary, Steve Tientcheu, Rasmané Ouédraogo, Issaka Sawadogo, Digbeu Jean Cyrille, Denis Lavant

Francja, Wybrzeże Kości Słoniowej, Kanada, Senegal 2020

A film-ritual that invites viewers to take part in a ceremony in which a dramatic struggle for power is won by … poetry. Set at the La Maca prison in Abidjan, the film transports us into a stuffy, overcrowded, tension-filled labyrinth. This is a place governed by its own gangster code and with its own rulers in charge of maintaining the fragile balance. When Roman ends up behind bars, the issue of choosing a successor to Barbe Noire, who is losing strength and, with it, power, is about to be settled. Like hyenas, the self-proclaimed heirs wait to inherit the throne; a bloody gang war is brewing. In order to gain time, Barbe Noire orders Roman to tell a story without interruption throughout the night. The protagonist of the story, who takes us into a world of myths and magic, is the outcast and bandit Zama. Under the red moon hanging over La Maca, Scheherazade meets Shakespeare, but Lacôte’s film is immersed primarily in local traditions (griots) and personal experiences (the director’s mother was imprisoned at La Maca for being an oppositionist). Drawing on experiences from the Ivory Coast, magical and political realism are combined to create a universal poem about authorities that play with matches—with the lives of devoted and naive young people.

Energetic piece of epic filmmaking, one that celebrates how storytelling, oration, and folklore teach us about our past so we might change our present

Robert Daniels, Robert Ebert

Rich and immersive and wholly unique

Mina Takla, Awards Watch

We’re left eager for more of what Lacôte, and the wisdom of his vision, has to offer

K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone

We want to touch you
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