• Kings
Genre : Drama
Type : Fiction
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2017
Format : Feature
Running time : 86 (in minutes)

A foster family in South Central a few weeks before the city erupts in violence following the verdict of the Rodney King trial in 1992.

In the English-language debut from writer-director Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang), a recluse (Daniel Craig) helps a woman (Halle Berry) and her multiple children when riots erupt in Los Angeles following the 1992 acquittal of the policemen charged with assaulting Rodney King.

A film by Deniz Gamze Ergüven

France / Belgium, 2017, Fiction, 86 minutes, colour, English, 18A

starring Halle Berry, Daniel Craig, Lamar Johnson, Kaalan "KR" Walker, Rachel Hilson

Bracing, bold, and ferociously inventive, writer-director Deniz Gamze Ergüven's follow-up to her Academy Award-nominated feature debut Mustang stars Oscar winner Halle Berry and Daniel Craig as citizens of the same South Central neighbourhood. As Los Angeles races to the verge of the 1992 uprising, their lives are set on a collision course.

Millie (Berry) is a hardworking single mom with a soft spot for strays. When Kings begins, she already has eight children living in her house and will soon bring home another. Her neighbour Obie (Craig) is the local loose cannon, and the only white man in an area largely inhabited by African Americans, Latinos, and Koreans. With racial tensions running dangerously high, Millie and Obie would appear to be unlikely allies. Yet following the acquittal of four of the officers accused of beating Rodney King, these two must navigate the gathering chaos in the city to bring Millie's kids home safely.

The events depicted in Kings are, sadly, only more resonant today. But Ergüven isn't content to offer mere sociological diagnosis or cinematic reportage. Her sense of style is irreverent, flamboyant, and occasionally dreamlike, and her characters are fascinating, multi-dimensional individuals with conflicting desires and complex loyalties. This extends to Millie's kids who, not unlike the cloistered sisters of Mustang, face seemingly dire circumstances with energy, verve and - despite everything - hope.
TIFF 2017, Toronto

Tags: Conflict, Social Justice, Life Experiences, Women In Film, AMERICAN, Female Director, Drama

IN DEVELOPMENT (August 2011)

Los Angeles, March 1991. A black girl is shot during an argument with a Korean shopkeeper over an orange juice. The violence of the event contaminates in a way or another each of our characters lives.
A year later in South Central L.A, we witness the last six weeks before the riots in the lives of Skipp, a thirteen-year-old black boy and his young foster mother Millie. Nicole, a fiery girl freshly released from Juvenile Hall to the streets, enters Skipp's life. Skipp reveals himself capable of anything for her, from retrieving a burglarized toilet to getting rid of a dead body. Meanwhile, Millie tries to keep afloat an over-revving foster home. While the world around them is already simmering, the riots begin. As if someone switched a button, everybody goes crazy at the same time. Skipp proves he can commit the worse for Nicole. Millie and Obie, the notorious only white guy of the neighborhood, thrust in a wild hunt. The unlikely pair started at odds bond throughout a strange night.
Written and directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Development: Néon productions (France), with Maïa Cinéma

Executive Producers
Wei Han, Yee Yeo Chang, Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler, Charlotte Ubben, Olivier Gauriat

Charles Gillibert, Geneviève Lemal

Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Pierre Mertens Paul Heymans Olivier Goinard

David Chizallet

Nick Cave, Warren Ellis

Mathilde Van de Moortel

Production Designer
Celine Diano

Production Companies
Scope Pictures
France 2 Cinéma
Ad Vitam

US Distributor
The Orchard

Sunshine Sachs

Canadian Distributor
The Orchard

International Sales

2017 | TIFF - Toronto International Film Festival, Canada | 7-17 sept 2017
* Selection - Gala Presentations
* World Premiere


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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