March 29, 2023

Amin Joseph appears in To Live and Die and Live by Qasim Basir, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by the press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

To Live and Die and Live is a film written and directed by Qasim Basir. It stars Amin Joseph, Skye P. Marshall, Omari Hardrict, Cory Hardrict, Dana Gourrier, and Maryam Basir.


The film follows film director Muhammad who returns to his hometown of Detroit following the death of his father, Khalid. His family looks to him for strength and leadership, but little do they know about his struggles with addiction. Using drugs and alcohol, Muhammad escapes into the nightlife of Detroit, where he meets Asia.


The film had a beautiful color palette, especially the scenes centered on Detroit’s night life. The whole film had a very dreamlike feel. There are also shots displaying the disparity in Detroit, such as when Muhammad visits a site he once worked at with his father, where we catch a glimpse of a crack pipe. 


Muhammad played by Amin Joseph, was especially captivating. He successfully portrays a tormented, moody and detached character. Every interaction with his family reveals how much a burden Muhammad must carry, as he’s expected to complete a multitude of tasks for others.


To Live and Die and Live tackles a lot of different topics related to addiction, manhood and even religion, but none are fully fleshed out. It is a pretty slow-moving film, with a lot of the themes and characters left vague. Ultimately, we are left with a lot of unanswered questions. I also think that Asia’s character could’ve been explored more, instead, she felt like a device to further Muhammad’s growth. However, the topics explored in the film are extremely important and relevant.

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