Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces

Briefly released in U.S. theaters, writer-director Ferid Boughedir’s film, Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces, is part of the Arab new wave, a Tunisian tale about a tiny 13-year-old (played by Selim Boughedir, the director’s nephew) on the verge of manhood who, doted on by an adoring mother, passes as an innocent in a world of Muslim women without veils — in communal baths, courtyards, and bedchambers. The rites, passions, and secrets of a neighborhood called Halfaouine make a piquant education for the young voyeur, and a pointed one for us: The director sets the characters’ sheltered lives against a backdrop of fundamentalist strife on the streets. B+

Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces
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