Dir: Jacques AudiardSeen at the Jerusalem Cinemateque Sun 3rd Jan 2016.
This is the first movie I saw of 2016. I certainly hope that it’s not prophetic.
I think that movies depicting people being locked up in prison hold us in rapt attention because most of us have conscious and sub-conscious fears of being locked up. I certainly identified with the prisoner in this movie because of my fear of being locked up and my fear of people in authority.
They’re all copies of an authority figure which my father represented to me. Every scene shows the prisoner interacting with authority figures and throws him into deeper complications with authority. His first struggle against authority is striking a blow at a policeman. For this he is convicted to spend the next 6 years in prison.
Here he encounter a worse authority figure than the policeman, who is a criminal authority figure, namely of the underworld who makes harsher demands on his obedience than the authority of the law.
His obedience to underworld authority ends when he’s ordered to murder a Moslem leader. This and the illness of his best friend, also a Mowlem bring him to a realization that there is, after all only one authority to whom he must show obedience and that is Allah.
In fact this movie shows the path followed by a prophet according to the Koran:
'We hear, and we obey. We seek Thy forgiveness, Our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys.'" (2:285)
The message of the movie is obey and seeing that you must obey someone it might as well be Allah, otherwise you’ll find yourself having to obey murderous commands given to you by law enforcement personnel or by criminals.