A PROPHET (Un Prophéte), by French director / writer Jacques Audiard, was named the best film at the BFI London Film Festival (LFF) during the closing ceremonies, Thursday the 29th. The Best Documentary award went to Israeli Yoav Shamir's DEFAMATION (Hashmatsa).
Other writers for A PROPHET are Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafi and Nicolas Peufaillit. The prison drama received the second place Jury Grand Prize at Cannes, behind Austrian director/writer Michael Haneke's black and white drama, THE WHITE RIBBON (Das Weisse Band), which won the Golden Palm.
Here is some of the report from the LFF (keep in mind that film festivals tend to exaggerate the hype):
"When Malik, a young French Arab, finds himself in prison with no friends or allies, he goes out of his way to be useful to the dominant Corsican gang and its leader Cesar Luciani. After a grueling rites-of-passage murder of a new friend, Malik builds, by slow degrees, a power base of his own.
At present, no Hollywood director can match Jacques Audiard's vice-like grip on character-driven action cinema. Time rips by in fingernail- biting anticipation of Malik's brutally authentic travails. His irrepressible nature is brilliantly incarnated by Tahar Rahim, whose impact is equally matched by Audiard regular Niels Arestrup as the Corsican boss. This is undoubtedly the crime drama of the year."