R.Hit First, Hit Hardest (18)

Starring: Johan Philip Asbaek, Dulfi Al-Jabouri, Roland Møller
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The Independent Culture

This dour but powerful Danish prison drama sets out, just as Jacques Audiard's A Prophet did, to grind audiences' faces in the daily routine of a tough penitentiary.

The film-makers use documentary techniques to heighten the sense of realism. Asbaek plays Rune, the young prisoner serving a shortish stint for assault but soon embroiled in the prison's culture of violence, bullying and drug smuggling – and the ongoing attrition between the white Danes and the Muslims. The in-your-face approach is effective but limiting. This is a film that only really strikes one note.