You Will Die At Twenty is about a boy who is taken as a baby by his mother to be blessed by a sheikh. Unfortunately this coincides with an ill omen and the sheikh declares the boy will die at 20. The film follows the fallout and how it shapes the life of the main character and his family.
His father abandons the family, unable to stomach the grief, and his mother dresses in mourning clothes and prepares more for his death and burial than his life. As for the main character, Muzamil, he becomes afraid of everything, living as though his life hangs by his fingernails, and will be lost at the least misadventure. Through this he misses for many opportunities, makes so many mistakes, and basically clings to religion with a quiet terror.
This story is a metaphor for the state of paralysis and fatalism so many young men experience in Sudan, in a country plagued with war for generations. Watching young men cut down so young, generation after generation, affects how the living see their lives.
Here’s hoping this beautiful film is just the start of the art to blossom out of a generation heading into peace.