YOUNG AHMED (Le Jeune Ahmed)
North American Premiere | Belgium / France | 2019 | Drama | 84 min | In French with English subtitles
Directed by: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Written by: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Cinematography: Benoît Dervaux
Film Editing: Tristan Meunier, Marie-Hélène Dozo
Produced by: Denis Freyd (Archipel 35/ Archipel 33), Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne (Les Films du Fleuve), Tanguy Dekeyser (Proximus), France 2 Cinéma
Cast: Idir Ben Addi (Ahmed), Olivier Bonnaud (The educator), Myriem Akheddiou (Inès), Victoria Bluck (Louise), Claire Bodson (The mother), Othmane Moumen (Imam Youssouf)
International Sales: Wild Bunch
The Dardenne brothers veer into dark, uncharted territory in this powerful, highly suspenseful portrait of a Muslim teen suddenly — almost inexplicably — radicalized by an extremist local imam. Ahmed, played by gifted newcomer Idir Ben Addi, may be inscrutable, but his blind faith in these dangerous new ideologies, and his determination to kill in the name of that faith, plunge him into the darkest of nights… one from which there may be no return.
Multi-award-winning Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne began writing, producing and directing documentary and narrative films in the late 1970s. They were thrust onto the international stage with The Promise (1996), which, among many other honors, nabbed the Best Foreign Film prize from both the L.A. Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics in the U.S. Their next film, Rosetta won the 1999 Palme d’Or at Cannes, and The Child garnered a second in 2005, making them members of a very elite club of just eight directors who have walked away with Cannes’ highest honor twice. In addition, Lorna’s Silence (2008) won the Best Screenplay Award, The Kid With a Bike (2011) won the Grand Prix, and Young Ahmed snagged this year’s Best Director Award at Cannes. Over the years, they have been nominated for seven César Awards and one BAFTA. Actor Olivier Gourmet won the Best Actor Award at Cannes for his role in their film The Son (2002), and Marion Cottillard was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Two Days, One Night (2014).
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