When Sony lent it’s hand, nod of approval for the French equivalent of Goodfellas mixed with the Sopranos, they did so with more than a handshake. Un Prophète (A Prophet), amazingly carries the unsuspecting into the societal issues that confront the French – and American criminal system today. With America hypersensitive to Islamic advances, and it’s own jail system overflowing and in disarray, this Sundance film can open the eyes to classic issues deeply routed in each of these developed countries.
The main character, knows no one and has nothing upon his arrest, and through classic stereotypes undergoes a transformation required of survival. The film properly diagnoses the moral decisions that a “convict” has to face: do you knock off someone to ensure your own chances of survival? In a whirling dervish of a dash, this film might be the underdog at Sundance. Like it’s premise – you’re either with us or against us (Dar al Harib or Dar al Islam). Of course, handshakes only go as far as one can see.