Night of the Kings

Philippe Lacôte

When a shy young man arrives at Ivorian Maca Prison, where the inmates rule, the Boss orders him to become the next ‘Roman’: the storyteller. He soon finds out that it is a matter of life and death. Raw, energetic and brimming with creativity, a viewing experience like nothing else.

A young and timid small-time criminal arrives at Maca Prison, in the middle of the Ivorian forest. It is a world with its own codes and laws. The Dangôro is the supreme master, boss among the prisoners. When he becomes ill and can no longer govern, the rules dictate he must take his own life to make way for his successor. Lord Blackbeard is the ruling Dangôro. And he is ill.

On his first day in prison, the young man receives a title from Blackbeard: ‘Roman’, storyteller. And tonight is the ‘Night of the Roman’, a night of anarchy, when blood must be shed. With all the prisoners assembled, the Roman must tell a story. He chooses the tale of legendary outlaw Zama King. In an exuberant style, director Philippe Lacôte (Run) transports us back and forth from the prison to the story of Zama. Meanwhile, Blackbeard is fighting a covert war to prolong his reign just a little longer. The Roman turns out to be a spectacular storyteller. But his mission becomes one of life and death.


Philippe Lacôte
Country of production
Côte d'Ivoire, France, Canada
93 minutes
Spoken language
Dioula, French
World Sales
Memento Films International
Dutch distributor
Imagine Film