Fifth about The Seventh

Young Ahmed (Le Jeune Ahmed)

Young Ahmed: in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s drama, it is fascinating to watch the protagonist, who is unsympathetic in spite of his angelic face; his single-mindedness and self-seriousness can come either from youth or extremism (of any kind, but the one portrayed is specific and, in this day and age, a bit of an easy target). He is both hard to like and hard to dislike, so pity is the prevailing sentiment; it is a work of deeply ingrained humanism. He is played with quiet intensity by Idir Ben Addi, and the rest of the cast is played with quiet naturalism as well. The film has the pair’s customary pared-down aesthetics, with efficient and unobtrusive camerawork, washed down colors, general absence of music; everything to keep the story front-and-center.

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