Venice Film Festival: "The Night of the Kings", a metaphor for recent Ivorian political history

Philippe Lacôte, the author of the first Ivorian feature film in official selection at Cannes.

Siegfried Forster / RFI

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

On the Lido of Venice, the Mostra has been held since Wednesday, September 2, the first major cinephile meeting since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eighteen films are vying for the prestigious Lion d'Or, but among the films out of competition, we find "Night of the Kings" by Ivorian Philippe Lacôte.


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With our special


in Venice,

Elisabeth Lequeret

Producer and filmmaker,

Philippe Lacôte

has signed, in six years, two feature films centered on his favorite theme, power and its excesses.

His new film, “ 

The Night of the Kings

 ”, takes place in a huge prison located in the middle of the forest, the Maca.

Maca has a leader: Blackbeard.

He has the power of life and death over other prisoners, but he is old and sick.

And now a band of young rebels decides to neutralize him.

We think a lot, of course, of the recent political history of Côte d'Ivoire " 

because there is a power struggle

," specifies Philippe Lacôte


There is an aging chef, there are a lot of suitors who interested me.

That's why it's called

"The Night of the Kings"

, also in reference to Shakespeare.

It was a matter of showing, behind closed doors, all the intrigues that could be put in place to gain power


Access to power is also what the young hero of the film will do by becoming the official storyteller of the prison.

In " 

The Night of the Kings

 ", the spoken word has magical virtues.

Built like a thriller, the film balances between raw realism and spectacular special effects to plunge us into this disturbing world that always seems on the verge of implosion and chaos.

► (Re) listen

: Philippe Lacôte: "Ivorian youth bangs their heads against the walls"


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  • Venice Film Festival

  • Cinema

  • Ivory Coast

  • Culture

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