IMDb > Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces (1990) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Asfour Stah
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Reviews & Ratings for
Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces More at IMDbPro »Asfour Stah (original title)

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25 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly similar to American sex comedies...

8/10
Author: theskulI42 from Denver, CO
9 July 2008

"Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces" (1990, Ferid Boughedir)

Apparently puberty's the same for everybody, everywhere.

Transcending time and place, date and setting, the film is a coming-of-age tale far from the thematically similar Tunisian entry "The Silences of the Palace", which depicting in scorching detail the plight of the woman in this society and her expectory burden of rape and sexual favors, "Halfaouine" depicts male-female Tunisian relations as much like our own American, with a lot of strong and knowing females and the lascivious lunkhead sweethearts who love them. Into this world is twelve-year-old Noura, endeavoring on a quest to understand the world of women, how to be a man, relationships, and above all, to see boobs.

Now, this is not the demented and disgusting brilliance of something like "Leolo", and it's not any outrageous or controversial endeavor on the level of "Maladolescenza" or "Murmur of the Heart", but its intent is to be breezy entertaining, not to get people talking about it in shocked whispers to their friends. The film has a solid grasp for both a good punchline (for instance, when a womanizer gives a young boy advice on how to get with women, the film cuts directly to the boy getting punished for harassing local girls) and a good visual joke (as when a street argument is cooled as the participants find a common bond: ogling a woman as she saunters away), functioning as little more than mindless entertainment.

It fails to be overly notable outside of surprising me how comfortable Tunisia is with nudity, as the film is filled to the brim with it. Lead actor Selim Boughedir is not only sort of dumb-looking, but also only seems to have two facial expressions: A blank slate and a sheepish grin. The rest of the characters are ill-defined, and most of the women, with the except his town-temptress aunt, are more notable for their bodies than their lives, which, it could be argued, is somewhat appropriate, considering the movie's title character is a horny, inexperienced twelve-year-old.

In the end, it's a harmless bit a fluff, a sex comedy with broad characters and a surplus of nudity, and more than anything else, I think it's nice to know that no matter where you're from, be it the suburbs of Michigan, the neighborhoods of Paris or the streets of Tunisia, every boy around the world just wants to get a little action.

{Grade: 7.5/10 (B-) / #15 (of 24) of 1990}

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

little bit too much folklorism

6/10
Author: maerte from denmark
19 October 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

this coming of age drama has been the first of a number of Tunisian films that gained the interest of the Western public.

Nevertheless it is not a major work of art. The acting is sometimes poor, the streets of the Halfaouine neighborhood are depicted in a much too folkloristic way, the dream sequences are embarrassingly bad. However the last quarter of the film in which Noura actually becomes of age and discovers sexuality raise the film slightly above the average.

But better watch "Un ete a la goulette" or especially "Samt al-qsour" the director of which, Moufida Tlatli, did the cutting of this movie. 6/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beautifully movie about sex love adolescence and social hypocrisy

8/10
Author: saumasinha from United States
16 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is a movie of a adolescent 12 year old boy transcending into manhood and the world around him as seen by him. He is suddenly not part of the adult community and he knows that he doesn't belong to the group of children playing in the street.

Though the scenes are not closely knitted and tends to fall apart occasionally they are well made when considered individually .

Though apparently comic it has a subtle tone of sadness wherein one is left to think about the male dominance and female oppression in the society. Freedom of speech and thought are restricted and can attract capital punishment .

There is also subtle hint of social hypocrisy where it seems acceptable for an adult male(the father) flirting with his female customers whereas the boy is punished when caught at the female bath trying to satisfy his curiosity. Note the hate and vindictiveness of the adult female who caught him in the act .

Thus the movie ends with mental and sexual liberation of the boy symbolized by the bird being let out of the cage and the boy's defiant smile from the rooftop as his angry father in the ground swears to kill him once he lays his hands on him.Thus answering the question "what it takes to be a man"....

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