Sally El Hosaini’s ‘My Brother the Devil’ (2012) surrounds gang culture in Hackney, East London. The film follows two brothers Rashid (James Floyd) and his younger brother Mo (Fady Elsayed) through their involvement in gang DMG (drugs, money, guns).
Rashid fronts the gang, yet as the film develops his friends name him ‘Houdini’ because they never see him, as he begins to attempt to slip away from the gang’s violent actions. To his dismay, this leads to his brother Mo’s further involvement.
The film is almost the British ‘American History X’, as we are presented with the same brotherly relationship. The older sibling attempts to ‘go straight’ whilst the younger becomes more reckless, yet this time, swastika-tattooed chests are replaced with tear-tattooed cheeks.
‘My Brother the Devil’ is an emotional, heart-wrenching tale of the trials of a familial bond, set within the backdrop of a gritty depiction of London’s gang culture. The presentation of an intense brotherly relationship provides a sentimental viewing, without lacking in extreme gang scenarios.
Photo credit: Simin Wheatley, 108 Media, paladin release