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Tournées Film Festival Presents Jacques Audiard’s Acclaimed “Un Prophète (A Prophet)”

September 16, 2011

Carleton College will launch its first annual Tournées Film Festival with a special screening of Jacques Audiard’s Acclaimed “Un Prophète (A Prophet)” on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. The film will be shown in French with English subtitles and Carleton College faculty members will provide a brief introduction prior to the screening. This event is free and open to the public.

Un Prophète tells the story of Malik, a 19-year-old French-Arab criminal vividly portrayed by Tahar Rahim who enters prison as an uneducated naïf. But by the time he leaves jail, he will know how to read—and how to kill. Audiard’s intricate study of the bloody rules and rituals behind bars never once glorifies the shocking violence that becomes a rite of passage for Malik, who, friendless, feels he must do the savage bidding of a ferocious Corsican crime boss in exchange for protection. Instead, the director Audiard (sometimes referred to as the “French Scorsese”) examines prison as its own specific social system, its corruption, cronyism, and racism a reflection of France at large. As Malik begins to defy the Corsican overlord and make decisions of his own, he becomes drawn to another Muslim inmate who teaches him how to read and write. For as much as the audience may cheer Malik’s small victories on his slow road to redemption, he remains a deliberately ambiguous hero— one who will always have copious blood on his hands.

Upon its release in 2008 with an “R” rating, “Un Prophète” has been the recipient of much critical acclaim. The film was awarded Best Foreign Language Film by the National Board of Review, the Grand Prix Award at the Cannes Film Festival, top honors from BAFTA for Best Film Not In The English Language, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The star of “Un Prophète,” Tahar Rahim, won Best Actor at the European Film Awards. More information and a trailer of the film can be found at www.sonyclassics.com/aprophet/.

The Tournées Film Festival at Carleton College is thanks to a grant awarded by FACE, the French American Cultural Exchange, bringing five acclaimed contemporary French films to the campus and the Northfield community.

The Tournées Festival will offer a wide variety of films that represent the best of contemporary French cinema. Additional screenings will include “L’Illusioniste (The Illusionist” (2010, directed by Sylvain Chomet) on Tuesday, Sept. 27; “White Material” (2008, directed by Claire Denis) on Thursday, Oct. 6); “Potiche” (2010, directed by François Ozon) on Tuesday, Oct. 11; and “Un Secret (A Secret)” (2007, directed by Claude Miller) on Thursday, Oct. 20. All screenings will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema.

The Tournées Festival at Carleton College is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture (CNC). Support is also provided by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Centre National de la Cinématographie, the Grand Marnier Foundation, the Florence Gould Foundation, and highbrow entertainment.

This event is presented by the Carleton College Department of French and Francophone Studies. For further programming information or inquiries regarding The Tournées French Film Festival, contact Dana Strand at (507) 222-4126. The Carleton College Weitz Center for Creativity is located at 320 North Third Street in Northfield. For additional information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4389 or visit online at http://apps.carleton.edu/weitz.