reibureibu’s review published on Letterboxd:
A simple parable of a child's virtue and how his efforts to do the right thing are impeded by adult apathy, misunderstanding, and scorn, Where Is My Friend’s House? is barely more than a concept but as such it allows that to fully draw out its implications.
The crux lies in Ahmed's friend who has forgotten to turn in his homework, and so the teacher threatens expulsion the next time; Ahmed then goes home and realizes he took his friend's notebook. In his journey to give it back, he finds his odyssey obstructed by indifferent adults: his mother doesn't listen to what he's saying, other villagers end up ignoring his plight, a stranger gives misguided directions that wastes time, and his grandfather thinks him not obedient enough.
"What I mean to say is, suppose the kid did nothing wrong. What would you do? What then?"
"I'd find an excuse and give him a beating every other week. So he wouldn't forget."
There is a disconnect between child and adult we sometimes forget, of how we can often disregard children's voices and pressure them against doing the right thing. It's easy to say we want the best for them, but it's much harder to actually follow through on such views.