Synopsis by Mark Deming
Director Laurent Bouhnik has crafted a tough-minded but visually impressive look at life in prison with his film Zonzon (French slang for jail). Three inmates sharing a cell in a French correctional facility deal with the physical and emotional rigors of life behind bars. France (Pascal Greggory) is a massive but emotionally distant prisoner who seethes with inner rage at the wife and child who have all but abandoned him. Arnaud (Gael Morel) is a student serving six months on a drug charge, trying to deal with his sudden change of circumstances. And Kader (Jamel Debbouze) is a petty thief relatively unconcerned with his return to jail -- he's been here before and will probably be back again. Zonzon won respectful notices for its unusual use of visual devices -- color, composition, focus, slow-motion photography -- to capture the grim fatalism of life in stir; the film made its American debut with a screening at the 1999 Santa Barbara Film Festival.
drugs, France, prison, robbery, student