A Prophet

  • 18
  • Jacques Audiard (2009)
  • Fr / It (SUB)
  • 148 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

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.

Plot Summary

Drama starring Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup. Arriving at a French prison to serve a six-year sentence, uneducated 19-year-old Malik is coerced into working for the resident Corsican gang - but he secretly begins plotting his own ascent to power.

Cast and crew


Malik El Djebena
Tahar Rahim
César Luciani
Niels Arestrup
Adel Bencherif
Jordi the gypsy
Reda Kateb
Hichem Yacoubi
Jean-Philippe Ricci
Gilles Cohen
Antoine Basler


Jacques Audiard

Other Information

French, Arabic, Corsu +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Violence and swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 22 Jan 2010
Certificate 18
Optimum Releasing