Previously at the ICA - Films
9 Oct 2016
BFI Film Festival: 245 features. 74 countries. 15 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.
Emirati filmmaker Ali F. Mostafa makes his most ambitious, mature film to date with The Worthy, a visually spectacular dystopian take on an Arab world torn apart by social disorder. A prologue shows us a truck driver picking up a hitchhiker. The man, his face hollow with distress, warns the driver to beware the black flags before he disappears into the distance. From there, we jump to the driver, now revealed as Shuaib, living in an abandoned warehouse with his children and a small group of survivors, seeking refuge with the only clean remaining water source in the area. When two visitors infiltrate their compound, they soon become pawns in a test for survival, where only one of them shall be chosen worthy. From this point, a brutal, gripping game of cat-and-mouse ensues.
The Worthy is nothing if not surprising and unexpected, and Mostafa has fashioned an end-of-days tale that feels both timeless and utterly contemporary. Part social commentary, and part sheer thrill ride, The Worthy is a breathless, audacious ripping up the script of what to expect from an Arabic language film.
(Notes by Ali Jafaar)
The Worthy, dir. Ali F. Mostafa, United Arab Emirates 2016, 95 mins.