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Night of the Kings

Summary:

If you’ve never watched a film from the Ivory Coast before, start with this one. It’s a unique hybrid of a prison drama and a fantasy tale. A young inmate named Roman has to entertain his fellow prisoners with a Scheherazade-like story on the night of a red moon, otherwise he’ll be killed. It’s a startling, visually rich film from visionary Ivorian writer-director Phillipe Lacôte. It has a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes and just missed out on being nominated for the Best International Film Oscar (it made the shortlist, but not the final cut).

Quick Takes

From Katie Walsh at Chicago Tribune:

What happens in Night of the Kings is a piece of traditional oration and impermanent art, significantly marked by both its temporal and improvisational qualities. It’s both a power struggle and a ritual practiced by the collective within a microcosm of society housed under the oppression of the state, and a powerful demonstration of the transporting, and liberating, power of narrative. Full Review

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