Part of SFFILM Festival
You Will Die at Twenty
In this visually entrancing film debut from Sudan, religious superstition places a heavy burden on a young man’s life. Faced with a sheikh’s dire prediction of an early death, new mom Sakina becomes overprotective of her son Muzamil while local boys call him the “son of death.” Seeking a normal adolescence without this anvil over his head, Muzamil finds solace in religion and cinema and develops a crush on a girl. Though the protagonist’s prophesied demise gives the film an undeniable gravity, director Abu Alala leavens it with warm humanism and graceful camerawork.
“Beautifully composed and boasting the kind of sensitivity to light sources and color tonalities usually ascribed to top photographers, the film lovingly depicts the remote east-central region of Sudan as a quasi-magical place of sand, sky, and the colors of the Nile. The story, about a young man raised to believe an unfortunate event at his birth has condemned him to die at 20, generally has an equally clear-cut quality, simple in the telling yet matched to the pictorial tenor.” –Jay Weissberg, Variety
Amjad Abu Alala is a Sudanese filmmaker based in the United Arab Emirates. He has directed numerous shorts, including Teena (2009), which was hailed as a return of cinema to Sudan. You Will Die at Twenty is his first feature.
Original Language Title Satamoto fel eshreen
Director Amjad Abu Alala
Producer Arnaud Dommerc, Hossam Elouan, Ingrid Lill Høgtun, Michael Henrichs
Writer Amjad Abu Alala, Yousef Ibrahim
Editor Heba Othman
Cinematographer Sébastien Goepfert
Music Amine Bouhafa
Cast Mustafa Shehata, Islam Mubark, Mahmoud Elsaraj