We’re traveling to the forests of Côte d’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast) in West Africa for this week’s Trailer of the Week, where a young pickpocket (Bakary Koné) is brought to La Maca and made to tell stories for the society of prisoners in Night of the Kings. As he witnesses events inside the unconventional prison, he discovers the life-or-death consequences of not complying with the inmates’ wishes. He is chosen to serve as the “Roman” under the red moon and must provide a captivating tale that keeps the prisoners entertained until the sun rises the next morning or risks never seeing beyond the walls of La Maca again. With no other choice, he serves up a mythical tale about Zama King: an outlaw that starts an uprising.
The story is based on an actual tradition a childhood friend told writer/director Philipe Lacôte about after his release from the MACA prison. In an interview with Variety’s Christopher Vourlias, Lacôte says,
“I immediately pictured the setup and imagined a character in the middle of this arena. Prison always got me interested as a place where the balance of power we can find in our societies is being experimented. It’s even more true when it comes to unequal societies. Being sent to prison today in Africa is something that can happen easily, either because you are poor or because you are being made an example to ensure the laws are respected. African prisons are full of young people being incarcerated for years in collective cells without being tried.”
Night of the Kings looks brilliant to me in the way that it uniquely creates an oppositional tone of escapism within the confines of imprisonment and considers the beauty of creativity that can come out of the bleakest situations. My immediate thoughts were as if someone took Tarsem Singh’s The Fall and embedded it within Fernando Meirelles’ City of God.
Lacôte’s last film Run was nominated for the Golden Camera Award at Cannes and the Audience Award at AFI fest in 2014 and Night of the Kings is already seeking consideration to be nominated for Best International Feature at this year’s 93rd Academy Awards.
Night of The Kings will make its US premiere in select cinemas and virtual theaters on February 26.
So what do you think of the trailer for Night of the Kings? Do you agree with Sean that it looks unique and beautiful? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re looking for horror trailers we’ve got you covered!