Ahmed (Idir Ben Addi) is going to radicalize listening to the extremist discourse of his imam.
July 6, 2020
Updated July 10, 2020 to 4h07
The young Ahmed: prison radicalization *** 1/2
CRITICAL / long ago that Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne sought to illustrate the radicalization. The turning point came when the duo has imagined a teen of 13 years old who shuts himself in his beliefs, raising them in absolute. They wanted to present this terrifying reality, unvarnished and without judgment, in The young Ahmed, prix de la mise en scene at Cannes 2019.
From the beginning, the Dardenne brothers delineate the character intransigent Ahmed (Idir Ben Addi). The boy refused to shake the hand of his teacher, madame Inès (Myriem Akheddiou) because, he claimed, a good muslim does not constrict the hand of a woman. The night, his single mother has flared up : “You get to wash the head by your imam.”
This teacher is a progressive and modern, and to a lesser extent his mother, becomes the target of his wrath. Ahmed foments a plan to attack his professor, the ideas confused by the extremist discourse of his imam, a grocer.
In their minimalist style, customary (camera, scope, sequence shots, no music, etc), the duo is interested in the dynamic that leads Ahmed to want to kill the “apostate”. His pathetic attempt leads him into the center of correction, but he is determined to accomplish his work, whatever the cost. The boy would like to walk in the footsteps of his cousin as a “martyr” for jihad.
The filmmakers belgians don’t judge nor offer indication psychological on what drives the ado in a religious zeal almost compulsive. This quest for identity — it is sorely lacking landmarks— makes it even more terrifying.
The young muslim refuses all the hands that are tense, including those of her mother and the sentimental Louise (Victoria Bluck), a teenager of her age who work at the farm where Ahmed must perform work. His benevolence, no disinterested, did not shake his faith nor his absolutism.