Finally, something positive! Un Prophète is quite a powerful film, and it gave me great pleasure to recommend it.
French crime drama A Prophet (Un Prophète) has been positioned by critics and festival panel members alike as being one of 2010's films to watch. Besides being France's selection for the Academy Awards, it garnered great praise from both Cannes and London film festivals, winning the Palme d'Or at the former, and the Best Film award at the latter. Well, those amassed opinions aren't wrong, because A Prophet is certainly the first great film of 2010 - a singularly gripping crime thriller told with freshness, depth and grace.
Malik El Djebena (Tahar Rahim) is a complete nobody. Landed with a six year sentence for a crime that is of no interest to the plot, the 19-year-old enters prison with nothing apart from a tightly-folded 50 Euro note. He has no family, friends, enemies, vocation or religion. The last detail is important, as the Arab delinquent is thrust into a microcosmic society that mirrors the French melting pot, finding inside as markedly divisive as outside, with gangs delineated by colour of skin and background.
Overwhelmed by the aggressive surroundings, Malik ends up cajoled into working for Corsican mafia boss César Luciani (Niels Arestrup), starting with one little task - murdering a Muslim inmate.
Read the full article here.