Boy from Heaven

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The naïve Adam becomes a pawn in a complex power game between the Egyptian dictatorship's authorities and Sunni Islamic authorities. In this spy thriller, everyone is a means to someone else's end.

The fisherman's son Adam is selected to study at al-Azhar in Cairo, Sunni Islam's most important and prestigious university. At the same time, a wide-ranging power play is triggered when the head of the institute, the grand imam, dies and a successor must be chosen. The free-thinking, blind Sheikh Negm is the most popular candidate, but when his assistant is killed on campus, everything becomes more complicated. Apart from the country's president, there are few who surpass the grand imam's influence, and the dictatorship's security authorities want a hand in the game.

Colonel Ibrahim (Fares Fares) enlists Adam as an "angel" for State Security, a process that wrings all naivety out of him as he infiltrates jihadist students, assesses loyalties, and discovers status-shattering secrets at the institute. Power gives and power takes, but it is also fragile and double-edged. The film is both an educational journey and a spy thriller and offers a unique insight into what is at stake between religion and the power centers of politics in contemporary Egypt.


Tarik Saleh (b. 1972) is a Swedish director and screenwriter, known for The Nile Hilton Incident (2017), which won best international drama at Sundance, and Metropia (2009). In connection with Boy from Heaven, he won Best screenplay at Cannes 2022 and was nominated for the Palme d'Or.


2022 The Contractor
2017 The Nile Hilton Incident
2014 Tommy
2009 Metropia

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