Belgium, France 2019 | 85 minutes | French, Arabic | Hebrew, English subtitles
The Dardenne brothers have so far won every possible award at Cannes, except for the one they coveted the most—Best Direction. This year, they filled that empty space on their awards shelf with Young Ahmed, which was also a frontrunner for the Palm D’or up to the very last minute. The appreciation for this film is impressive given that the filmmakers deal with a particularly sensitive issue—the radicalization in Europe—but in a way that is not sensational or provocative, and which maintains their personal touch expressed in modern classics, such as Rosetta and The Son. The film focuses on Ahmed (Idir Ben Addi in a powerful debut performance), a boy swept up the process of Islamic radicalization, and unravels his story with realistic intensity and human compassion.