A Prophet

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A Prophet

Jacques Audiard (2009)

148min
18 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Director Jacques Audiard (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) has crafted another relentlessly gripping thriller that emphasises the humanity of his characters while in no way flinching from showing the brutality of criminal life. Newcomer Tahar Rahim is utterly compelling as Malik El Djebena, a 19-year-old French-Arab man sent to jail for a petty crime. Behind prison walls, his youth and inexperience leave him open to exploitation, but while he is initially forced to do the dirty work of Corsican kingpin César (Niels Arestrup), Malik also uses his time inside to get an education - both academic and criminal. Though Audiard supplies the requisite violence, revenge and betrayal, he also largely avoids prison movie clichés, and instead focuses on Malik's path from naive young man to tough crime lord. The movie has a grimy, downbeat air that is lightened by some moments of surrealism, and Audiard also sensitively examines the wider political and racial issues at the heart of the story. But it is Rahim's bold portrait of a man struggling to survive inside without losing his identity that makes this an unforgettable experience.

Summary

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin.

Cast & Crew

Malik El Djebena Tahar Rahim
César Luciani Niels Arestrup
Ryad Adel Bencherif
Jordi the gypsy Reda Kateb
Reyeb Hichem Yacoubi
Vettorri Jean-Philippe Ricci
Teacher Gilles Cohen
Pilicci Antoine Basler
Director Jacques Audiard
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Other Information

Language: French, Arabic, Corsu +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: OptimumGuidance: Violence and swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 22 Jan 2010
Drama