Subscription 790/year or 190/quarter

Colorful about fatal prejudice

You will die at twenty
Regissør: Amjad Abu Alala
( Sudan)

WRONG / Superstition and prophecy provide the framework for a story in which a curse says that the main character will die before he turns twenty.


The frame is as drawn from the well-known adventures, but it is religion and system suppression this Sudanese movie wants to live. The action takes place in the superstitious countryside, in the present. Those who do not sincerely submit to religious leaders are considered sinful and dirty. Despite the bleak theme, the film is woven together by sensual scenes into a great sparkling and life-shattering tapestry.

The portrayal is confident and contemporary. From the boy Muzamil who is born newborn by his mother in front of a prophet in the desert, the beauty of the tabloids grabs the viewer with an almost mesmerizing effect. Next to the Prophet, a man dances in trance as he shows numbers. Suddenly, he falls to the ground, and pale-purple sand dust swirls up. Before it settles down, life has turned on Muzamil's head. The event is interpreted as a prophecy that deprives him of all his normal opportunities to go to school, make friends and have a future of hope, dreams and love.

Husar Rest

"The son of death" screams at the other children before the piggy bank Muzamil, the few times he ventures out of his mother's overprotective house arrest, a prison without special opportunities for life. The mother actively mourns his future death as she pacifies him from living.

As I watch the film, an inner rage awakens in me. The strong empathy with Muzamil makes it bother me that the mother and everyone else not only accept that this one designated man should have no rights, but also that they diligently use him as a chopping block.

You will die at twenty
You will die at twenty
Director Amjad Abu Alala

The fable extends far beyond the reality of the country of origin Sudan. It points to the dangerous human acceptance that the rights of others are not being protected. Overland's words become very relevant: "You must not endure so badly the injustice that does not affect yourself."

Those who do not sincerely submit to religious leaders are considered sinful and dirty.

A human grows up trapped behind high walls, aimlessly waiting for nothing but death. It gives associations to the many millions of people stranded in similar no-man's land in refugee camps or worse. There is nothing adventurous about this, but the aesthetics of the film are nonetheless dangerously seductive. It's easy to just enjoy the visual, but the characters engage, makes me care. The portrayal is near. It's no longer about the others, someone who is far from our lives wrapped in something exotic alien, but recognizable in their human needs and conflicts.

Those who take up the fight

Some dare to break the stigma. A village girl likes Muzamil and wants it to be the two of them. She asks him to act and take up the fight against superstition. The opportunity for love is like a kick right in the stomach. It awakens Muzamil. His previous sleep-like routine is challenged.

A villager from exile shows up. The man offers film, home-burning and knowledge. Everything about him is in sharp contrast to the religiously submissive life Muzamil has pityed for. Missed by a father who escaped as the son's death sentence was handed down, aroused in the encounter with this new possible parent figure. It is about those who are cowed and those who pay the price to rise to power. The relationship with the older man becomes the film's powerhouse. At the same time, I wanted to know more about the background of his long-standing exile: The social mechanisms that pushed him away are the same as this fable cunningly puts under the seal.

The movie is shown below Movies from south 2019.

Ellen Lande
Ellen Lande
Lande is a film writer and director and a regular writer for Ny Tid.

You may also like