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A Prophet (2009)

Un prophète (original title)
R | | Crime, Drama | 26 March 2010 (USA)
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2:07 | Trailer

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A young Arab man is sent to a French prison.

Director:

Jacques Audiard

Writers:

Thomas Bidegain (screenplay), Jacques Audiard (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 50 wins & 52 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tahar Rahim ... Malik El Djebena
Niels Arestrup ... César Luciani
Adel Bencherif ... Ryad
Reda Kateb ... Jordi
Hichem Yacoubi Hichem Yacoubi ... Reyeb
Jean-Philippe Ricci Jean-Philippe Ricci ... Vettori
Gilles Cohen Gilles Cohen ... Prof
Pierre Leccia Pierre Leccia ... Sampierro
Antoine Basler Antoine Basler ... Pilicci
Foued Nassah Foued Nassah ... Antaro
Jean-Emmanuel Pagni Jean-Emmanuel Pagni ... Santi
Frédéric Graziani Frédéric Graziani ... Chef de détention
Leïla Bekhti ... Djamila
Rabah Loucif Rabah Loucif ... L'avocat de Malik
Slimane Dazi ... Lattrache
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Storyline

Nineteen year-old Franco-Arab Malik El Djebena is just starting his six year prison sentence in Brécourt. Although he has spent the better part of his life in juvenile detention, this stint is his first in an adult prison. Beyond the division of Corsicans and Muslims in the prison (the Corsicans who with their guard connections rule what happens in the prison), he has no known friends or enemies inside. He is just hoping to serve his time in peace and without incident, despite having no prospects once he's out of jail since he's illiterate and has no support outside of the prison. Due to logistics, the head of Corsican inmates, a sadistic mafioso named César Luciani, co-opts Malik as part of the Corsicans' activities, not only regarding what happens inside the prison, but also continued criminal activities outside. The innocent Malik has no idea what to do but cooperate. This move does not sit well with the other Corsicans, who only see Malik as a dirty Arab, and the Muslims who now ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Escaping the prison of life.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, sexual content, nudity, language and drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French | Arabic | Corsican

Release Date:

26 March 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Prophet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$163,773, 28 February 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,084,637, 27 June 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prior to making this film, Jacques Audiard had screened a film for prisoners in France. Shocked by the prison conditions, he decided his next film would take place in one. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prisoner: Take these handcuffs off!
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2009 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Mack the Knife
Music by Kurt Weill
Lyrics by Bertolt Brecht
Performed by Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In the same league as Gomorra
11 November 2009 | by rubenmSee all my reviews

When I read that this movie has more nominations than any other film for the European Film Awards (even more than Slumdog Millionaire) I decided to go and see it. I don't regret this decision and I hope the movie wins all six awards it has been nominated for.

This movie, about a young hoodlum who in prison becomes a dangerous criminal, is in the same league as last years's Gomorra. It shows the life of criminals as it is: tough, merciless and unscrupulous. This film is miles away from the romantic image of maffia-style crime gangs we know from Hollywood. There is no honour here, no attachments, no loyalty. Only self-interest. The style of the film reflects the rawness of its subject. The photography is meant to show life in a prison, not to please our sense of aesthetics.

Why is this such a good film? Because of the radical approach to show us nothing but the raw underbelly of France, but also because of the story which has many aspects. Malik, the central character, has no true identity at all: he is not a religious Muslim (he eats pork), but he is neither French nor Corsican. The members of the Corsican clan to which he is being attached despise him because he is not one of them, and so do the religious Muslims ('les barbus'). Another interesting aspect is the development of the relationship between Malik en the Corsican capo Cesar, with a very powerful apotheosis. And there is the changing of Malik himself of course, who in the beginning of this film seems to be devoid of any emotion at all, but in the end is capable of warm feelings towards his godson and the wife of his terminally ill friend.

After having seen Un Prophète, I regret not having seen Jacques Audiards other films.


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