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A Prophet, Jacques Audiard (2009)

Oh, I don’t think so. First, in terms of style, everything annoying about contemporary French cinema is in full effect. Turgid symbolism, gratuitous passages of stylized shooting, plink plonk dramatique piano music and vapid ironic pop music . . . ugh. Audiard seems determined that the very celluloid should emote constantly. Second, what exactly is the story here? We French used to have these bad guys, the Corsicans. They were nasty and violent but at least they spoke something close to French, and they looked French, and acted French, and went to the same churches as the French. Now look what’s displaced them: Arabs. Dirty stinking double-crossing Arabs. The Corsicans took them in and showed them the ropes, and the Arabs turned around and hung their benefactors with same. Méfiez-vous, peuple de France! The Arabs are learning to read, and the next thing you know they’ll be driving BMW’s! Double ugh. This movie’s prophetic all right, and the prophesy is racism and paranoia.

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