A Prophet (Un prophete)

Rated R (MPAA) 150 min. 2010

Originally touted as a contender for an Academy Award, Jacques Audriard’s prison thriller deservedly won a Grand Prix at Cannes. It’s a taut, nakedly violent two-and-a-half hours following loner Malik el-Djebena (Tahar Rahim), an illiterate 19-year-old French Arab, incarcerated for assaulting a cop. Malik quickly gains the attention of the prison ringleader, a barrel-chested Corsican named Cesar, who orders him to kill a gay, drug-dealing prisoner. The scene is brutal, bloody, shaky and human. Although there’s more colour and warmth than Steve McQueen’s gripping prison film Hunger, Audriard is also more interested in drawing realistic social studies than a violent facade of prison life: the scariest part of A Prophet is watching quiet Malik absorb Cesar’s lessons. –Sue Carter Flinn

Film Credits

Official Site: www.un-prophete-lefilm.com

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writer: Thomas Bidegain, Jacques Audiard, Abdel Raouf Dafri and Nicolas Peufaillit

Producer: Martine Cassinelli and Antonin Dedet

Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb, Antoine Basler, Gilles Cohen, Farid Elouardi, Sonia Hell and Pascal Henault

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