Philippe Lacôte’s Night of the Kings defies genre. Through dance, music and calling upon the pageantry of the stage, he creates a world of storytellers and danger within MACA, one of the most notorious jails on the Côte D’Ivoire, in D’Abijan. This critically-acclaimed film draws on Lacôte’s own experiences as a child visiting his mother in MACA, who was a political prisoner there; the tradition of griots, and the melding of reality and the mystical, which is a large part of the West African culture, to weave a story of survival and enchantment that rivals any Shakespearean play.
The African American Film Critics Association provided the opportunity to interview this innovative director who is extremely passionate about the role storytelling, politics and mysticism play in West African and Black culture as a whole.
See the interview here, and read my review on Night of the Kings, previously seen at TIFF 2020. You can watch the film on-demand now and through the Neon Films website.