Halfaouine (Asfour Stah) DVD - 1990 film directed by Férid Boughedir. A coming-of-age comedy/drama set in Tunisia. Twelve-year-old Noura is an impressionable boy who must reconcile two conflicting worlds - the loving world of Moslem women and the vastly different, harsher world of men - while also dealing with his own budding sexuality.
In this unusual feature from Tunisia, a twelve-year old boy takes advantage of the erotic opportunities his childhood status gives him to ogle women in his mother's bathhouse, and to spy on the attractive woman next door, who is conducting a clandestine affair with a tradesman whom he is friends with. Eventually, his family hires a young girl as a servant, and thanks to her interest in him, at last he has an opportunity to experience a full-fledged sexual encounter. This coming-of-age story features fairly explicit sexual scenes and female nudity which are not commonly found in films made in Muslim countries. Not only that, but women in it are shown to be frankly sexual beings - yet another departure from the cultural norms. Stars Selim Boughedir, Mustapha Adouani, Rabia Ben Abdallah, Mohammed Driss and Hélène Catzaras. Unrated, 98 minutes. DVD version offers Stills gallery; Optional English and Spanish subtitles.