Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Written by Thomas Bidegain and Jacques Audiard
Directed by Jacques Audiard
Starring Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup

A prophet is either one chosen by God to spread his word or an individual capable of telling the future.  In UN PROPHETEMalik El Djebena (relative newcomer, Tahar Rahim) has found himself in prison at the age of nineteen so it doesn’t appear that God has anything intended for him.  One day though, he is mistaken for a prophet when he predicts an accident with a deer after having seen the event take place in a dream.  Malik is not a prophet though because he doesn’t predict the future.  Malik makes the future.

At nineteen, he has no friends in prison or out.  Seeing this, a group of imprisoned Corsican mafia men, led by Cesar Luciani (the ferocious Niels Arestrup) approach Malik with an offer he cannot refuse.  It has only been hours since he has been in prison and the men who are clearly in charge are offering him protection.  All he has to do is kill another Arab inmate who is being housed in the prison until he testifies in court.  Malik has never killed anyone before but if he says no, then he will be killed.  The situation is inescapable and it shapes Malik into the man he is destined to become during his six-year sentence.  Director Jacques Audiard then follows Malik’s growth, balancing back and forth between the numerous different prison gangs with ease, while Malik learns the trades, meets the right people and plots to overthrow the kings that made him.

UN PROPHETE may have lost the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film this past year but anyone who watches it will know and feel that they are watching a contemporary crime classic while every unexpected turn unfolds before them.  It’s a good thing its so good too because the Blu-ray options, safe for a director/star French audio commentary complete with English subtitles, are scant and forgettable.  The film is anything but.




Sasha James said...

Great meeting you last night!

Black Sheep said...

Great meeting you too!