The Power of an Individual


The film Ali Zaoua shines light on the forgotten “street kids”.  It shows the children who spend their time sleeping on the hard concrete, begging for money and sniffing glue to suppress their hunger. There are many powerful depictions and saddening images throughout the film, but they are joined with themes of hope that often run through the childrens’ minds.  Throughout the film, there is the character of the sailor who brings a new beacon of hope to the boys lives, showing that they are not entirely forgotten, but at least one person cares.

This scene shows the mourning of Ali Zaoua on the sailors boat, it brings together the different worlds- the world the street kids live in and that of the mom.  It shows the reconciliation that can be brought about and the collective hurt/suffering that they go through.  The sailor brought them all together, he offers his boat and helps the boys to have the proper burial for Ali Zaoua.  It ends with them sailing off into the distance with new symbolism of hope for the future.

I think we live in a society that is so focused on huge, fast change that we often forget how powerful one person can be.  How much of an impact one person can have on another’s life through caring and noticing.  Just as the sailor gives hope to Ali Zauoa, he later helps care for his friends as well.  He notices that these boys are indeed still children and they need help, someone to show them the way.  In contrast to the harsh words and negative views their old leader Dib fills them with, the sailor changes everything by helping them to see another side again, a side of hope, joy and regrowth.

The film brings humanity back into the picture.  It shows the laughter of these kids. It shows the games they play and that even though they have these horrible lives, they are not ruined.  All it takes is at least one individual to care and treat others like the humans we all are.  We all can notice, listen and bring hope to change lives like the sailor did for these often forgotten street kids.


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