FNE at Festival De Cannes 2009: Competition A Prophet


    CANNES: There has not been many French winners of the Palme d'Or in recent years but with Jacques Audiard's A Prophet that screened today if the critical response is anything to go by the French have a strong chance this year. The film is about the 19 year old Malik El Djebena condemned to prison for six year who cannot read or write.

    He arrives appearing younger and more vulnerable than the other inmates. Cornered by the leader of the Corsican gang who rules the prison, he is given a number of jobs to carry out to toughen him up and he gains the gang leader's confidence in the process. But Malik is a fast learner and he has plans of his own. He develops his own sphere of influence and his own power inside the prison.

    Audiard said that he wanted to make a genre film that would be different from his other films. There are not many French prison genre films so it gave Audiard a freedom to explore a genre that was not over developed. Unlike some of his other films sets had to be constructed, many parts cast and the whole classical mechanics of filmmakers used. The result is a great film. Audiard said A Prophet shows the life of a prison as a metaphor for society.

    Malik starts out as a blank page but the prison becomes a school for his development. A school for crime. The role is very well done by young French actor Tahar Rahim.

    Audiard is a true French master and he has been in competition twice before in Cannes as a director with Un Heros Tres Discret in 1996 for which he took home the prize for best screenplay and with Regarde Les Hommes Tomber in 1994. It will be a surprise if he goes home empty handed in 2009.


    Jacques AUDIARD - Director

    Abdel RAOUF DAFRI - Based on an original idea by

    Jacques AUDIARD - Screenplay

    Thomas BIDEGAIN - Screenplay

    Nicolas PEUFAILLIT - Based on an original screenplay by

    Abdel RAOUF DAFRI - Based on an original screenplay by

    Stéphane FONTAINE - Cinematography

    Michel BARTHELEMY - Set Designer

    Alexandre DESPLAT - Music

    Juliette WELFLING - Film Editor

    Brigitte TAILLANDIER - Sound

    Francis WARGNIER - Sound

    Jean-Paul HURIER - Sound


    Tahar RAHIM - Malik

    Niels ARESTRUP - Cesar Luciani

    Adel BENCHERIF - Ryad

    Reda KATEB - Jordi

    Hichem YACOUBI - Reyeb