Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue (Ali Zoua: Prince of the Streets)
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Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue (Ali Zoua: Prince of the Streets)
A handful of street kids in Casablanca struggle to pay tribute to a fallen comrade in this drama. Ali Zaoua (Abdelhak Zhayra) is a homeless boy who runs with his friends Omar (Mustapha Hansali), Boubker (Hicham Moussane), and Kouka (Maunim Kbab), all of whom get by on their wits and often stray into petty crime to provide food, clothing, and shelter. The four boys were once under the thumb of Dib (Said Taghmaoui), a man who lords over a gang of young criminals, but under Ali's guidance they've decided to strike out on their own rather than share their meager earnings with Dib. Ali… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Ayouch takes a subject that could be thoroughly depressing ... and -- through a simple story line, dramatic acting and National Geographic-like shots of the city's rough and pristine edges -- creates cinematic magic."
‑ Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
"An oblique, heartbreaking film."
‑ Mark Holcomb, Village Voice
"Like a treadmill, Ali Zaoua plays out like a film exercise that goes nowhere"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"So-so Moroccan drama."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"In its own, low-key way, Ali Zaoua is just as stirring [as City of God]."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"It's the eyes of the children ... that stay with you after Ali Zaoua is over -- as well as the compassion that's evident in every frame."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Director Nabil Ayouch balances the pessimism with gorgeous wide-screen photography, a wistfully hopeful conclusion and a succession of gracefully animated sequences designed to show his characters' more gentle inner worlds."
‑ William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Less interested in moving a viewer to anger and action than in eliciting a few tears of pity and granting us a warm glow of self-congratulation for having shared for a moment in the anguish of underprivileged others."
‑ Dave Kehr, New York Times
"Ayouch has crafted a powerful reminder of how kids can adapt to even the worst of circumstances."
‑ Marc Mohan, Oregonian
"It's the beguiling performances from the three young children that are really captivating, and it's their sense of the comic and the tragic elements of their predicament that gives the film its enjoyable energy."
‑ Jamie Russell, BBC.com