Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets

Take an unheralded little movie from Morocco, cast it with real street kids out of Los Olvidados, kill the most sympathetic character five minutes in, add some whimsical animation sequences, and you’ve got one of the best pictures from SIFF ’01. Among the filthy, feral, glue-sniffing waifs near Casablanca’s harbor, three children resolve to give their deceased pal a decent funeral (“We won’t let him be buried like shit!”). Meanwhile, the freaky deaf-mute leader of their old gang could beat or sodomize them at any moment; then they have to tell their dead friend’s prostitute mother the bad news. Too much pathos, you ask? Maybe, but you might be a pre-teen glue sniffer, too, facing the real-life poverty that inspired Ali’s script. Introduced by John Sinno of Arab Film Distribution. (NR) BRIAN MILLER

Sun., March 21, 2 p.m., 2010

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