James Floyd

My Brother the Devil Berlin

Editor’s note: Scott’s review originally ran during last year’s Berlinale Film Festival, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens today in limited theatrical release. With its social pressures and troubled definitions of manhood backed into a corner, Sally El Hosaini‘s My Brother the Devil gropes toward acceptance with two characters seeking to define or redefine who they are and how they see themselves. Like most things, the difficulty often lies in how others see them. It’s an hebetic flick where religion, sexuality and socio-economic status all collide to muddy the waters of the East End. That’s where Rashid (James Floyd) and his little brother Mo (Fady Elsayed) live with a mother who is obliviously sweet and a father who is only present long enough to berate them. Rashid is a drug dealer popular with the neighborhood and with his boys. Mo idolizes him, but Rashid is pushing him away from the crib and into the classroom. Good grades aside, there are no easy paths in this movie. After knives get bloodied on a shitty street in London, Rashid begins questioning his chosen profession and seeks a real job and friendship with professional photographer Sayyid (the always strong Saïd Taghmaoui). As that relationship evolves into something more identity-challenging, Mo finds himself without the God of his Big Brother and is left to fall into his footsteps.

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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