Young Ahmed

by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
20.09.20 – 23.09.20

The Dardenne-brothers are back, this time with a drama about 13-year-old Ahmed. Ahmed stands on the edge of a cliff: he is about to be radicalized. Can his kind teacher, his loving mother or perhaps his new friend Louise impact him in a positive way? The film won the award for best direction at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

We are screening Young Ahmed skjer in collaboration with Vega Scene og Cinemateket i Oslo.

About the film

The Dardenne brothers always have a razor-sharp eye for how society treats its weakest, and how your position shapes your personality and your choices. This sharpness is sometimes criticized by critics as an aloofness, a distancing from the objects, but in fact one rarely sees such realistic portraits of people and their beliefs, doubts and difficult choices as in a film of the two brothers. Two Golden Palms and plenty of other awards, including Best Director for Young Ahmed at Cannes 2019, speak volumes.

This time the directors go straight into the challenges the Muslim population faces when they are being drawn in different directions - how orthodox can/should they be? A school meeting where the Muslim parents discuss the use of song in Arabic teaching is a central scene where the different points of view are allowed to emerge, without a definitive answer being given. The main character here is the 13-year-old Ahmed, who by the time the film starts has already been radicalized by the local imam. Too young to ask critical questions, and inspired by his cousin who has already been proclaimed a martyr, he tries to commit a similar act. The rest of the film is his encounter with society's instruments for deradicalization, and his own reactions to this.

About the directors

The Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have since the nineties delivered a string of low-key but intense films. They have won the Palme d'Or at Cannes twice, and many awards at other leading film festivals. The Dardenne brothers are European director icons in line with Bergman, Fellini and Almodóvar.

Young Ahmed (orig. Le jeune Ahmed)
Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Belgium, France
1h 25 min
French with Norwegian subtitles