One of the elements that peaked my interest in seeing Ismael Ferroukhi’s French film Free Men (2011) was the lead actor. Tahar Rahim is a performer who made a large impression on me after starring in the Oscar-nominated film A Prophet (2009). In that film, Rahim played a naïve, scared, and aimless new member of a French prison who very gradually learns what it takes to survive and even flourish within that world, eventually turning out to be one of its most powerful leaders. I mention that because this new film contains similar traits, but is set in a different world. Instead of a prison, we are transported to German-occupied Paris in the early 1940s, right in the heart of World War II. Once again, we see Rahim’s character transform from a man who has no direction to a man who understands his situation and what he must to do to live through it.