A Prophet


(out of 5)

Original title:  Un Prophete

Superb epic that presents a French prison as a microcosm for one man’s coming to power.  arrives in the slammer after being arrested for his first adult crime after a lifetime spent in juvenile delinquency. Unsure of himself, illiterate and vulnerable, he is immediately taken in by the Corsican mob who rule supreme at the prison and force him to work against his own Arab brothers. Time passes, relationships alter, and he soon finds himself a well-read, multilingual, savvy power player who might be challenging his beloved mentor () by seizing control of his own domain. The direction is gritty, tough and unsentimental, but it is punctuated by moments of lyrical beauty and profound tenderness. It’s extremely long but never boring, exhausting in its magnificent scope but wholly encompassing in its charting of the development of one central, wholly sympathetic and constantly challenging character. A true masterpiece.

Why Not Productions, Chic Films, Page 114, France 2 Cinéma, Union Générale Cinématographique, BIM Distribuzione, Celluloid Dreams, France 2, Canal+, CinéCinéma, Région Ile-de-France, Conseil Régional de Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Sofica UGC 1, Sofica Soficinéma 4, Soficinéma 5, Neon Productions


Directed by

Screenplay by Jacques Audiard, , based on a screenplay by ,

Cinematography by

Produced by , , ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 2009

Cannes Film Festival 2009

Golden Globe Awards 2009

Independent Spirit Awards 2009.  

National Board of Review Awards 2009.  

National Society of Film Critics Awards 2010.  

Online Film Critics Awards 2010.  

Toronto International Film Festival 1999

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