Ali Zaoua

Nabil Aouch’s film, released two years prior to City of God, tells the tale of four children living on the streets in Casablanca. In a similar vein, the film unabashedly follows the crass, brash and tragic trials and tribulations met by the boys on the street. Lord of the Flies is a soft reflection of a lawless world run by children in comparison to this film and whilst watching we become grateful for the fleeting moments the boys encounter compassion from the broken adults around them. Kwita, Omar, and Boubker struggle to bury their friend Ali who dies the beginning of the film – Ali dreamt his entire life of becoming a sailor and they fight to give him a burial fit for a prince. Ayouch’s talent is undeniable as he has successfully created a movie that is simultaneously gritty and childishly whimsical. This film taps perfectly into the twisted consequences and raw emotion of young boys as they attempt to harden themselves and overcome their childhood, human vulnerability. It sends out a potent message (or sent, 14 years ago) to those who are responsible for the unpardonable level of homeless children who exist in the shadows. Ali Zaoua does not vilify society as a whole and clearly acknowledges the hardships others are experiencing. A must-see.

4/5

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