Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust and Bone) won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for this daring, genre-bending portrait of three Sri Lankan refugees—Dheepan (Antonythasan Jesuthasan), Yalini (Kalieaswari Srinivasan), and Illayaal (Claudine Vinasithamby)—who form a fake family unit to emigrate. When they find themselves living together in a violent, gang-dominated housing project outside Paris, they start to reevaluate the terms of their intimacy. Like his character, the actor and novelist Jesuthasan was a member of the militant nationalist army LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) before fleeing the country and settling into a series of odd jobs in Paris, while eventually renouncing all ties to the Tigers. When, in its bloody last act, his character has to fall back on his military training, Dheepan becomes something darker: a harrowing reckoning with the past. A Sundance Selects release.
Review: A Prophet