La Nuit des Rois
La Nuit des Rois
La Nuit des Rois

La Nuit de rois

Night of the Kings
Philippe Lacôte
Frankreich, Elfenbeinküste, Kanada, Senegal 2020
93 min

In den Vollmondnächten werden Geschichten erzählt. Weil das so ist, wird der Neuankömmling in La MACA, dem grössten Gefängnis der Elfenbeinküste in Abidjan, vom alten Blackbeard dazu verdonnert, den anderen Gefangenen die Zeit bis zum Morgengrauen zu vertreiben. Also beginnt die Schilderung der angeblich wahren Abenteuer von Gangleader Zama King, und LA NUIT DES ROIS – die nach RUN (2014) endlich zweite Arbeit des ivorischen Regisseurs Lacôte – nimmt ihren Verlauf zwischen Oral History und Märchen, Theaterstück und Fantasyfilm. Dazu Gesang und Tanz und keine Kompromisse: das Wort hat die Macht, es schafft die Welt. (Alexandra Seitz)

Set in a prison ruled by the inmates in a forest in the Ivory Coast, LA NUIT DES ROIS tells the story of a young man who must entertain the older prisoners by making up stories until the sun rises. He is following the tradition of the "griot", as described by African-American intellectual and author Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his book "The Signifying Monkey". Deeply rooted in West Africa, this is the practice of poetic storytellers and musicians, who keep up oral traditions by their specific use of myths and language. Director Philippe Lacôte references this tradition, while also grasping the prison, the biggest in the country, as a microcosm of society. The young inmate has to make up stories that consist of tall tales, fantasy, and elements taken from real life. Just like Sheherezade, he'll be killed if his yarns ever come to an end. Peter Debruge writes that the film "feels radically different from most films set behind bars, and not just because of its one-of-a-kind location." Philippe Lacôte understands his film in a broader sense as a powerful metaphor: "Through LA NUIT DES ROIS, we realize that Africa is perhaps the very last antique theater of today, where tragedy and stakes of power unfurl in a raw, frontal, and eminently visual manner." (Pier Paolo)


  • Koné Bakary - Roman
  • Steve Tientcheu - Barbe Noire / Blackbeard
  • Rasmané Ouédraogo - Soni
  • Issaka Sawadogo - Nivaquine
  • Digbeu Jean Cyrille - Demi Fou / Half-Mad
  • Abdoul Karim Konaté - Lass
  • Anzian Marcel - Lame de rasoir / Razor Blade
  • Laetitia Ky - La Reine / The Queen
  • Denis Lavant - Silence
  • Philippe Lacôte
  • Tobie Marier Robitaille
  • Pierre-Jules Audet
  • Emmanuel Croset
  • Aube Foglia
  • Olivier Alary
Banshee Films, Wassakara Productions, Peripheria, Yennenga Production

Memento Films International

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