Ali Zaoua: Prince de la Rue

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Street kid Ali Zaoua lives down by the harbour, begging, stealing and hustling. He dreams of leaving behind the poverty, glue-sniffing and constant danger; of becoming a sailor and journeying far from Morocco to an island with two suns. But then a run-in with rivals results in his death, and his pals Kwita, Omar and Boubker have to find a way to bury him. But they have no cash, they ought to tell Ali's estranged mother the bad news - and then there's Dib, self-appointed leader of the local urchins whose despotic insistence on total allegiance ensured the errant Ali's demise. This has a lot going for it: its sentiments are liberal, it has ambition and intelligence, it's well shot and engagingly acted, mostly by street kids, whose lot director/co-writer Ayouch hoped to improve through their association with the film. But, regrettably, the film never quite takes off. The plotting is predictable, and the characterisation of the Fagin-like Dib is symptomatic of an overall tendency towards facile sentimentality.

By: GA

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Cast and crew

Director: Nabil Ayouch
Screenwriter: Nabil Ayouch, Nathalie Saugeon
Cast: Mounïm Kbab
Mustapha Hansali
Hicham Moussoune
Abdelhak Zhayra
Saïd Taghmaoui
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