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At the Maca correctional facility in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan, the inmates run the prison, a place all but ruled by superstitions. Tonight, upon the rising of a red moon, a newly arrived prisoner (Koné Bakary), jailed for pickpocketing, has been selected by the autocratic Lord Black Beard to assume the position of “Roman” (storyteller): he must keep his fellow inmates entertained with wild tales or risk his own life. As this Scheherazade-like scenario unfolds, he tells the story of Zama, his childhood friend who became a legendary crime boss. Paying homage to the tradition of the griot in West African culture, Night of the Kings is a work of Shakespearean fabulism and gripping, energetic cinema, an altogether original vision from breakout Ivory Coast filmmaker Philippe Lacôte. A NEON release.
Dioula, French, Ivorian slang