Young Ahmed

Director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Year Released: 2019
Rating: 3.5

Ahmed (Idir Ben Addi), who lives with his single mother in Belgium, becomes obsessed with the rules of radical Islam preached by Imam Youssouf (Othmane Moumen) and takes it upon himself to try to murder his teacher Inès (Myriem Akheddiou) for being a "bad Muslim" (among other things, she's dating a Jewish man).  It's an odd (and intentionally polarizing) viewing: Ahmed is, without a doubt, the Dardennes' most loathsome and contemptible main character (to date) - when he dips his head down and looks at the floor, it's not out of shyness it's out of pure arrogance.  He dismisses his mother's insistence his behavior is a result of lack of a father, and he's relentless in his psychopathic desire to murder Inès, only "apologizing" when he's about to meet his maker.  Having endured the suicide bombings and attacks on their home country of Belgium - and wise enough to separate the 'fringe' Muslims from the 'progressive' ones - they respond with their most stern and cautionary story. "Restorative justice" wasn't going to work on that kid.