My Brother the Devil

April 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Posted in 2013 | Leave a comment
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This small British film follows the relationship between two Arab brothers in working class London.  The older brother is entrenched in a street gang and has made a living selling drugs.  His younger brother idolizes him, much to his parents’ concern.  Now the older brother is trying to break clean from the gang and come to terms with his sexuality just as his younger brother is starting to get involved.  This movie is like a softer version of “American History X” and explores much of the same territory about the relationship between brothers.  It is not nearly so well acted nor so powerful as “American History X” and it does not shed any new light on that subject.  However, it is a far easier film to watch.  I was also really drawn into the view it gave us into gangland London and the relationship between Arabs and Africans.  There was only 1 White character in the whole movie and this is the first time I have seen that in a British film.  The two main characters and fairly well acted and likable enough that you are drawn into the story.  Director Sally El Hosaini makes nice use of lighting and manages to create moments of real beauty.  She can be a bit heavy handed with some symbolism, such as having the younger brother wear only pink shirts for the first half of the film and then only purple ones after that.  I don’t know what that is supposed to mean but it was distractingly obvious she was trying to say something.  This is a small critique, though, in a film that was, overall, pretty enjoyable.

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