Monday, March 14, 2011

A Prophet

French film A Prophet (Director Jacques Audiard), screened at Jersey Arts Centre this evening, manages to intercut a viscerally realistic and violent portrayal of prison life with fleeting and mysterious images of ghosts and prophecy.

Stripped of its supernatural dimension, the film would still be impressive (and some might argue tighter); the interplay between naive convict Malik (Tahar Rahim) and Corsican gang leader Luciani (Niels Arestrup), as one gains in understanding and power at the expense of the other, is played out with subtlety.

But it is the images of Malik's dead victim Reyeb (Hichem Yacoubi) - bathed in flames, some kind of prison mentor, ghostly companion or conscience - that linger in the mind.

I like films that plant images in your consciousness asking to be interpreted and leave you wondering about what happens to the characters as they exit the final frame...

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