My Brother The Devil

review my brother the devil

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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MBTD_FINAL POSTER

Do you think Sally El Hosaini‘s My Brother the Devil is any good? Not sure? Really? Why not just look a few lines up at the film’s new poster, which we’re pleased to exclusively debut here on Film School Rejects. See all that praise? See all those laurels? It’s fair to guess that the new British release (and Sundance and Berlin winner) is pretty damn good. El Hosaini’s debut film was crafted at three different Sundance Institute labs (Middle Eastern, Screenwriting, and Directing) and has gone on to make the festival quite proud. A tale of two different brothers – James Floyd as the mixed-up Rashid and Fadi Elsayed as his adoring younger brother Mo - My Brother the Devil chronicles the pair has they both attempt to work their way out of a life on the streets with different aims and different results. My Brother the Devil will open in NYC on March 22nd and Los Angeles on April 5th.

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Austin Cinematic Limits

I have been anxiously awaiting Fantastic Fest 2012 (September 20-27) ever since the carnivalesque tomfoolery of the Fantastic Fest 2011 closing party. Year after year, Tim League and the Fantastic Fest programmers have totally blown me away with their impeccable curating of genre films. And the parties… Oh, the parties! If my liver could talk, the stories it would tell… If history serves, Fantastic Fest 2012 will continue to expand upon its awesomeness, so this year will probably be ten times more amazing than last year’s festival. The announcements that Fantastic Fest has made so far with the first wave and second wave of programming have already solidified the fact that this will be the best damn Fantastic Fest of them all. First off, Tim Burton will be in attendance at the world premiere of Frankenweenie on the opening night of Fantastic Fest 2012. Sure, I have not been a fan of most of his recent work, but that makes him no less of a cinematic genius in my mind. And, while on the subject of this year’s festival guests, I pretty much peed my pants with excitement when I heard that Rian Johnson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be coming to Fantastic Fest with their film Looper. Color me thrilled!

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There’s a solid chance that you haven’t heard of most of these movies. Yet they exist – out there somewhere as a thorn in the side of movie fans trying to see as much as possible. Nuggets of potential waiting to be picked up from the movie orphanage by a distributor and given a warm home with cup holders in every seat. The European Film Market is fascinating for that reason and for the way people attend it. Tickets this year were around $600, but that’s a reasonable price for companies sending representatives trying to find the next moneymaker for their company or the hot movie to bring to their festival. That means screenings come complete with people on cell phones and unimpressed buyers walking out after ten minutes to hustle next door to see if the other movie playing has any promise to it. It’s a bizarre way to watch movies, but it makes a kind of sense given the massive size of the movie list compared to the tiny amount of time to see everything. There were upwards of 675 movies in the EFM this year, all of them with their own selling points. Here are the 87 most interesting-sounding with descriptions found in the official catalog. For the most part, I haven’t seen these movies (and didn’t even know about many of them until the Berlin Film Festival), but they all have something going for them that should earn them a spot on your radar.

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published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C
published: 04.18.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
A

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