Twelve-year-old Noura is an impressionable boy who must learn to reconcile two conflicting worlds - the loving world of Muslim women and the vastly different, harsher world of men - while also dealing with his own budding sexuality.
"Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces" (1990, Ferid Boughedir) Apparently puberty's the same for everybody, everywhere.
Now, this is not the demented and disgusting brilliance of something like "Leolo", and it's not any outrageous or controversial endeavor on the level of "Maladolescenza" or "Murmur of the Heart", but its intent is to be breezy entertaining, not to get people talking about it in shocked whispers to their friends.
The film has a solid grasp for both a good punchline (for instance, when a womanizer gives a young boy advice on how to get with women, the film cuts directly to the boy getting punished for harassing local girls) and a good visual joke (as when a street argument is cooled as the participants find a common bond: ogling a woman as she saunters away), functioning as little more than mindless entertainment.
It fails to be overly notable outside of surprising me how comfortable Tunisia is with nudity, as the film is filled to the brim with it.
Lead actor Selim Boughedir is not only sort of dumb-looking, but also only seems to have two facial expressions: A blank slate and a sheepish grin.
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