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IVORY COAST – OFFICIAL SUBMISSION – 2021 ACADEMY AWARDS, BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE


La Maca in the Ivory Coast is one of the world’s most notorious prisons. Its inner world is run by the inmates, in a complex and formal power structure. As Night of the Kings begins, the ruling boss Blackbeard asserts his tenuous grip on power by claiming a freshly arrived young inmate to be his new “Roman” – storyteller. It’s the night of the rare red moon, and to keep the peace, Blackbeard must provide his subjects with a new set of theatrics. If the “Roman” should fail, he can expect instant death.


So begins a mystical and magical odyssey into the heart of Ivorian mythology. The very nervous and inexperienced new “Roman” desperately recalls stories told to him by his aunt, who was “griot” – a West African storyteller. So “Roman” weaves the tale of the Zama King for his fascinated, rapt audience – and Night of the Kings erupts into a visual feast of fantasy, folklore, stories-within-stories with immense visceral power. The inmates of La Maca respond vocally and physically, their kinetic energy unable to be contained. Night of the Kings is a storyteller’s wonderland.


This screening is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and sponsored by TV5Monde and The Consulate General of Canada in Miami.


  • Year
    2020
  • Runtime
    93 minutes
  • Language
    French
  • Country
    Côte d'Ivoire
  • Premiere
    Florida
  • Director
    Philippe Lacôte
  • Screenwriter
    Philippe Lacôte
  • Producer
    Delphine Jaquet, Yanick Létourneau, Ernest Konan, Yoro Mbaye
  • Cast
    Koné Bakary, Steve Tientcheu, Rasmané Ouédraogo, Denis Lavant, Issaka Sawadogo, Digbeu Jean Cyrille, Abdoul Karim Konaté, Anzian Marcel, Laetitia Ky
  • Cinematographer
    Tobie Marier-Robitaille
  • Editor
    Aube Foglia
  • Composer
    Olivier Alary