Synopsis by Mark Deming
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.
cabin-boy, funeral, gang-leader, guidance, indifference, Morocco, prostitute/prostitution, street-kid