A group of children living on the street leave their gang, prompting retribution from the gang's leader. After one of the children dies, the rest try to come up with the resources to give their friend a proper burial.
Two childhood friends, Karim and Adil, prowl the streets of Casablanca, their native city. They do not do much, in fact they hustle rather than work. They are also unashamed dreamers, Karim... See full summary »
In Casablanca, Ali, Hmida, Mbarek and Messoud are four unemployed youths who spend their time dreaming of a better life in the Netherlands. One day, Hmida falls on a specialist of illegal ... See full summary »
Mbarek is a farmer who ekes out a living on a small plot of land in a rural Moroccan village. He lives there with his pregnant wife Ayda, his sick father and his teen-aged son Ayoub who has... See full summary »
Ali, Kwita, Omar and Boubker are street kids. The daily dose of glue sniffing represents their only escape from reality. Since they left Dib and his gang, they have been living on the portside of Casablanca. They live in constant fear of Dib's revenge. Ali wants to become a sailor - when he was living with his mother, a prostitute, he used to listen to a fairy tale about the sailor who discovered the miracle island with two suns. Instead of finding his island in the dream, Ali and his friends are confronted with Dib's gang. Matters are getting serious.Written by
I recently saw this film at the Santa Barbara international film festival. I glanced over the brief summary, and the fact that it came from Morocco intrigued me. However, it started an hour after a movie I really wanted to see started. The movie I went to wasn't that great and I ended up sneaking out of that one and into Ali Zaoua. I'm now glad I did so because what I saw was one of the most brutally realistic and terrifying, yet beautiful and poetic, inspiring and redemptive movies I've ever seen.
This movie is not for the faint of heart. Since it takes place in the poverty of a third world country, in places where the homeless in America seem spoiled in comparison, this movie portrays the harsh realities these kids endure everyday to survive, whether from the world around them or each other, no matter what the cost. The actors seem casted right off the streets, bearing scars and other physical traces of the nightmares they live through. The fact that the characters are only small children forced to live lives that even an adult would have a difficult time with makes this movie even more powerful.
At times this movie seemed like a version of Lord of the Flies, but I can't go into that any more without potentially spoiling the movie (or Lord of the Flies for those who haven't seen the movie or read the book). All I will say, however, is that the movie doesn't center around what seems to be aspects from Lord of the Flies and has much more good points about it than bad ones, that the movie carries much further than these aspects.
I can't say enough about this movie. I've only seen it one time and now I can't seem to find it on video or DVD. I can only hope that it comes out on DVD and in widescreen format.
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