My Brother the Devil
Featuring breakout performances from a terrific young cast, Sally El Hosaini’s vibrant and original debut feature dabbles with genre conventions and defies expectations.
Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.
Mo (Fady Elsayed) is a 14-year-old student living with his Egyptian family on a Hackney housing estate. He shares a bedroom with his charismatic older brother Rashid (James Floyd), and idolises him. Rashid runs with a local gang, dabbles in drug dealing, sneaks out to see his girlfriend and surreptitiously slips money into his mother’s purse, though he wants something better than this for Mo, encouraging his younger brother’s college aspirations. However, Mo is keen to play the tough guy, and finds it hard to escape the lure of gang life just at a point when Rashid is navigating a necessary escape from it. When Mo discovers secrets Rashid is keeping, the worlds of both boys are about to be turned upside down. Featuring breakout performances from a terrific young cast, Sally El Hosaini’s vibrant and original debut feature skillfully dabbles with genre conventions and defies expectations.
To me, My Brother the Devil is a film about the power of unconditional love. Although it touches on themes of prejudice and identity, at its heart it’s a love story between brothers. While writing the screenplay I had an image of a piece of DNA in my head. Each brother was a strand of the helix and their lives twisted and spiralled around each other; on separate paths, but forever connected. This was the genesis of Mo and Rashid’s relationship, which is the spine and heart of this story. It’s about a journey from a kid-and-idol relationship to true brotherhood. Both brothers must face up to who they really are if they are to be able to love each other. So, ultimately it’s also about the courage it takes to be different, to be yourself.
A production coordinator on international features and several Middle East-focused documentaries from 2005 onwards, she acted first as consultant and then as script editor on the 2008 mini-series House of Saddam, before embarking on a pair of self-penned shorts, of which Henna Night was an LLGFF selection and contributed to her being named as one of Screen International’s ‘UK Stars of Tomorrow’ in 2009. Her debut feature My Brother the Devil has already been honoured at Berlin and Sundance.
2008 The Fifth Bowl [s]
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