Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue (Ali Zoua: Prince of the Streets)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 11

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,281
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Movie Info

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 claims he's soon to sail away from this village to a better life, which his friends don't quite believe. However, after Ali is killed by Dib's goons, they learn he had indeed been hired as a cabin boy on a ship. Omar, Boubker, and Kouka pledge to arrange for a proper funeral for their late friend, whose body they're hiding from Dib and his men; however, paying for Ali's internment proves to be no easy task. Ali Zaoua received its North American premiere at the 2000 Montreal World Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue (Ali Zoua: Prince of the Streets)

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (3)

  • 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.

    Aug 1, 2003 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • In its own, low-key way, Ali Zaoua is just as stirring [as City of God].

    Apr 16, 2003 | Rating: 3/4
  • 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.

    Apr 15, 2003 | Rating: 2/5
  • An oblique, heartbreaking film.

    Apr 8, 2003 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Aug 2, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    May 11, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Jamie Russell

    BBC.com
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue (Ali Zoua: Prince of the Streets)

  • Jul 19, 2008
    Interesting movie that centralizes around a small group of city street kids. Ali, Kwita, Omar, and Boubker live near the ports and watch the boats and ships there. Ali dreams of becoming a sailor. Kwita focuses only of surviving and looking out for their small group. Leaving behind a gang led by Dib, they fear the consequences. After a brutal incident, Kwita now only has Omar and Boubker for companions. Mounim Kbab, Mustapha Hansali, Hicham Moussoune, Abdelhak Zhayra, and Said Taghmaoui stars. Worthy!
    Leo L Super Reviewer
  • May 25, 2008
    A Moroccan film about homeless children on the streets of Casablanca. The title character is killed in a street dispute in the first scene and his friends are forced to find a way to bury him with limited resources. This isn?t nearly as depressing as it all sounds, although this is an unflinching look at young children living in very desperate conditions. The film has a real sense of childhood whimsy despite depicting the gritty mean streets of Casablanca. What?s remarkable is that the film successfully has its cake and eats it too, it manages to simultaneously be gritty and whimsical, something hacks like Marc Forster only dream of actually accomplishing. The actors in the film are actually homeless children and the movie has a documentary feel but never revels in it. A very good movie from an area that doesn?t get much representation in international cinema.
    MJS M Super Reviewer

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