A Prophet (Un prophète)
Directed by Jacques Audiard
Running time: 155 min
French director Jacques Audiard's stylish and thrilling prison drama A Prophet (Un prophète, in the original) (2009), stars a brilliant Tahar Rahim in his breakthrough role. Malik (Rahim) is French of Algerian descent, 19 years old, and has been sentenced to six years in prison for attacking police officers. Alone and illiterate he negotiates his way through the criminal hierarchies, which are dominated by two main factions – the Corsicans and the Muslims. After gradually educating himself in their language and street politics, Malik works his way to the top of the criminal underworld becoming one of its most feared and powerful gangsters. Co-written by Audiard with Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri and Nicolas Peufaillit, it combines an American-style toughness with more European documentary-style realism, but intersperses this with sudden, unexpected excerpts of rap music, freeze frames, magical realism and violence. Audiard deliberately made Malik into an icon, despite his immoral actions, an anti-hero for those who, the director claims, “don't have images in movies, like the Arabs in France”. A Prophet, at its core, is an intimate study of an individual we can't help but like as well as a tale of our capacity for resistance in the face of prejudice and institutional control. It won Rahim two Cesar awards for his role as Malik and a 2010 BAFTA for 'Best film Not in the English Language'.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.