You Will Die at Twenty

BBFC RatingYou Will Die at Twenty

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DirectorAmjad Abu Alala
WritersAmjad Abu Alala, Yousef Ibrahim, Hammour Ziada
CountrySudan, France, Egypt, Germany, Norway, Qatar
Running Time1HR 42MINS
SeasonMain Programme

Based on Sudanese writer Hammour Ziada’s short story, "Sleeping at the Foot of the Mountain", You Will Die at Twenty follows the life of Muzamil from birth until his 20th birthday.

Muzamil’s religious Sufi village lies between the Blue and White Nile in Al Jazira state, Sudan, and at the boy’s initiation ceremony, a sheik prophesizes that Muzamil will meet an early death at the age of twenty. Transfixed by his grim fate, his mother becomes overprotective and forbids his education, and his despairing father leaves home for many years. The villagers taunt Muzamil, referring to him as “son of death”, and he becomes increasingly isolated, with only the opportunity to study the Koran.

The quality of his life changes when he meets a Sudanese cinematographer, who imparts his passion for cinema and existential ideas with the curious teenager. A conflict grows within Muzamil between his traditional values and newfound modern aspirations.

An assured debut, visually bold and morally nuanced, You Will Die at Twenty brings a humane reality to living under a religious dictatorship.

"A vibrant and transfixing revelation, [You Will Die at Twenty] is as novel a vision as we may see this year. From its meaningful ideas on the here and the hereafter, its lesson for Muzamil is that after perishing a rebirth may follow." - Los Angeles Times

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