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You Will Die at 20

Amjad Abu Alala | 2019 | 103 MINS
Sudan/France | Subtitles
International Panorama: Sudan

Shortly after Muzamil was born, the village's holy man predicts that he will die at age 20. Growing up knowing his fate, his life changes when he meets the free spirited Suliman.

In Detail

Boasting a terrific visual sensitivity, this rare film from Sudan has a fable-like quality in its depiction of an isolated village where superstition constrains its people. The villagers taunt Muzamil, referring to him as ‘son of death’.

Increasingly isolated, with only the opportunity to study the Koran, then cinephile Suliman enters his life and he encounters ideas and challenges that make him question his destiny.

Director Amjad Abu Alala’s cinematography is stunning and the confidence of the direction belies his debut behind the camera. “Alala deepens this simple, fable-like premise into a lyrical confrontation with the certitudes of faith and the life-giving powers of doubt.” LA Times (subtitles)

A vibrant and transfixing revelation, ‘You Will Die at 20’ is as novel a vision as we may see this year.

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