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"Zonzon" means "Prison" .This is a movie which takes place in jail and
one cannot say it renews a genre which has produced few masterpieces
("Le trou' by Jacques Becker) .There's the obligatory violent scene in
the showers ,there's the obligatory body search and the obligatory
beating up,there are the obligatory nasty wardens,there's the
obligatory dope the inmates smoke every day,there's ...you name it.
Considering the limitations they are working under,the good cast ,particularly Jamel Debouzze and Pascal Greggory ,give their characters substance and prove that they would have deserved a better script and a better director.Best scene is Greggory's wife's visit:"Mum,when shall we leave?" the boring (and probably ashamed)prisoner's child asks.
Zonzon is the slang word for prison.
The movie is a story about little criminals doing time in the inhumane prisons of France and the absence of rehab programs. Violence, harsh language and despair. Real prison life. A must see for prison aficionados.
The plot is not all that complicated. It even seems that the movie never really starts, but please be patient. The actors deliver the underlying stress and the subtle ambiances of prison life. No wonder it got nominated several times (even won a couple of awards). If you can understand French, you should absolutely see this movie in it's original language. French with English subtitles could be a good second choice. Not for the ordinary movie goers.
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