Search - Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces on DVD

Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces
Halfaouine Boy of the Terraces
Actors: Mustapha Adouani, Walid Bahri, Rabia Ben Abdallah, Zahira Ben Ammar, Fatima Ben Saďdane
Genres: Indie & Art House
UR     2004     1hr 38min

A charming tale of a young boys sexual awakening in muslim tunisia. Boughedirs style is sensual and full of joy celebrating the pleasures of everyday life. Studio: Kino International Release Date: 02/24/2004 Run time: 9...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Mustapha Adouani, Walid Bahri, Rabia Ben Abdallah, Zahira Ben Ammar, Fatima Ben Saďdane
Genres: Indie & Art House
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House
Studio: Kino Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/24/2004
Original Release Date: 01/01/1990
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1990
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Arabic
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Coming of age of an arab boy
Maria Álvarez Folgado | castellar del valles, barcelona Spain | 11/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This moving story gives a believeable, touching account of a Tunisian boy's coming of age. Halfaouine is the name of a popular, working-class neighbourhood of Tunis, where Noura lives. He is first introduced to us as a 13-year-old-boy who is still in his childhood, since he spends all his time with his mother and the women of the house and neighbourhood. We are shown this in an intimate scene in which Noura's mother is removing the hair from her legs in his company, or when he is with his mother and divorced aunt while they are talking of women's things.

Noura has never paid very much attention to such every day happenings, until, prompted by his adolescent friends, he learns two things: that men do not keep company with women, and that women are fascinating creatures. However, the very same discovery of these two elementary facts means that his childhood has finished for good. Noura's last visit of the hamman in the women's time is wonderfully hilarious. He just really SEES how women are for the first time, and is duly discovered by histerically screaming women who see a man's (and not a boy's) eyes examining their bodies (he had promised his buddies an exhaustive report of this visit).

But this awakening of Noura will not be restricted to the way of looking at women. The whole neighbourhood, where he has spent all his life, and the people who are around, are different now, too. He, and we through him, begins to see the importance of the reletions between people, and how what people think or say about you can affect your life in such a small place as Halfaouine, where everybody knows each other. He also discovers you can do things considered bad, provided nobody knows about it, and that anything you do in the open must be submitted to the judgement of your neighbours...or worse (as is the case with his divorced aunt or his politically rebellious neighbour), in short, he discovers that to be a grown-up you must sacrifice your innocence or suffer the consequences.

But, all in all, being a grown-up seems promising from the vantage point of the "terraces" of Halfaouine, where Noura hangs out all day with his friends, and from which he studies and learns about life.
This film not only gives us an account of the coming-of-age theme, it also offers, through the extraordinary testimony of everyday life, among ordinary people in an Arab city, ample proof that the theme is universal and, as such, an apt way of uniting different cultures through something that we all share."
Taboo breaking film
reteip | 11/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This truly taboo-breaking film is the first from one of the Arab world's leading film critics, Ferid Boughedir. Warm, sensual and witty, it chronicles a 12-year-old boy's sexual awakening in Muslim Tunisia. Small for his age, Noura has always accompanied his mother to the ladies' Turkish baths. But now, he's not so young that his eyes don't wander to the half-naked women who ignite his imagination. Too old to spend much time with the women who have pampered him for years, he's still too young for the company of men. When released, the talk was over the way it broke new ground in Arab cinema. But with its earthy sensuality, compassion and humor, Halfaouine also became one of the most exquisitely told coming-of-age tales in recent years."
Very good
Sir Hatton | 10/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Tunisian cenima always surprise audience with films no one could imagined would be made in the arab world. this movie is a very nice and very funny movie. if you are going to watch this movie for the "good scenes" like one of the reviewers put it, then you will be disappointed because thats not what the movie is about. if you are interested in seeing a good movie then i think you will enjoy this one."
Shared Experience from Different Cultures
Sir Hatton | 03/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I highly recommend it for family viewing with boys who are curious or experiencing their own sexual awakening. It was fascinating to learn that teenage boys growing up in Islamic and Judeo-Christian society experience the same curiosity about their sexual awakening and the pranks they go through.
One could see that there are the same taboos between the two cultures when it comes to sex education for children, i.e. parents or close adult kin or friends do not discuss their teenagers interest openly.
I was rather surprised that this film survive the puritanical censors of the U.S. There was a scene of a woman stroking a boy's penis in the bath house. And they showed a circumcision ceremony with a scene of a child's foreskin being pulled out and about to be cut off.
This film also gives the viewer an insight into an Arabic community that most Westerners will never experience in person. I thoroughly enjoyed the film."