El Ayel (The Kid), Mohammed Larbi, is a moody loner, about 10 years old and troubled from the start. He endures sickness, a traumatic circumcision, harsh religious catechism, and European Jansenism. The setting is Tang...展开ier during the mythic period of International Administration in the 1950’s. Larbi is a free spirit, preferring the open air and street life to the cloistered family environment or classroom. He gets into mischief with the other kids on his street, going as far as committing the ultimate act of subversion: sacrilege. Street life involves violence, and Larbi suffers his share. Only the love he feels for Khadija, and, through her, for the movies saves Larbi from the predators who lurk in the Zoco Chico (the square in the old medina). His love gives the young protagonist hope for the future, even after the heartbreak he suffers when he discovers the fate that awaits Khadija. A mix of Proustian nostalgia and what Charles Dickens calls “autobiographical fiction”, “A Muslim Childhood” is at once an elegy and an anthropological reflection in sound and image of a childhood in Muslim Morocco.