Nineteen year-old Franco-Algerian 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 Algerian, and the Muslims ...Written by
Bridging the Gap
Written by Nas (as Nasir Jones)
Performed by Nas featuring Olu Dara
Courtesy of Ill Will, Columbia Records See more »
Requiem for a prophet
A juvenile delinquent named Malik (Tahar Rahim) goes to prison after spending most of his up-growing in juvenile correctional facilities. Malik soon learns that he's no longer a small fish in an aquarium, but a fry in an ocean. And swimming with the big fish is quite a different state of affairs as he is bound to discover.
Pic's protagonist is recruited by the Corsican gang and being an Arab by appearance (granted, apparently not religiously), he continues to live as an outsider of not only society but also fellow inmates as he has done most of his life. But he continues to float and find his way behind the bars.
In the exquisite direction of Jaques Audiard, the film accelerates well through good character development and profound script. The education of Malik is in my opinion one of the main pillar of the film because it is an education on so many levels. Of least to get ahead in business. Dirty business, granted, but it is business nonetheless.
It's the small things that distinguishes this little gem from many other movies on prison culture. It has to be, Audiard knows this and has created yet another great piece of cinema for his fans.
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