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Children of Heaven [VHS]

226 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mohammad Amir Naji, Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi, Nafise Jafar-Mohammadi, Fereshte Sarabandi
  • Directors: Majid Majidi
  • Writers: Majid Majidi
  • Producers: Amir Esfandiari, Mohammad Esfandiari
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • VHS Release Date: January 2, 2001
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305492115
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,224 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Triumphant prizewinner at many prestigious film festivals, this uplifting, crowd-pleasing story of family and love was also nominated for an Academy Award(R) as Best Foreign Language Film. When Ali loses his sister Zahra's school shoes, this young pair dream up a plan to stay out of trouble: they'll share his shoes and keep it a secret from their parents! But if they're going to sucessfully cover their tracks, Ali and Zahra must carefully watch their step on what rapidly turns into a funny and heartwarming adventure! A magical motion picture acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, CHILDREN OF HEAVEN is a charming treat you'll love too.

Majid Majidi celebrates the immediacy and essence of childhood in this delightful tale of a brother and sister who share a pair of shoes when the boy (though no fault of his own) loses his sister's only pair. Since their parents are too poor to afford a new pair, they keep it a secret, trading them off every day in a mad rush, jumping gutters and navigating the twisting lanes to their schools and back. Then the boy hatches a plan: the third-place prize in a student footrace is a new pair of shoes, and he's determined to take it. The plot may smack of a Disney film, but the direction couldn't be more different. The family scenes are delicately observed, and Majidi captures the spirit of the children perfectly: proud, emotional, petulant, sweet, and disarmingly sincere. The film has a Western-friendly framework without losing the naturalistic eye and lolling rhythm that gives the best Iranian films their richness. Even as he builds to the climactic footrace (quite unexpectedly turned into a nail-biting contest) the film continues to reveal a wealth of discreet surprises, culminating in a conclusion all the more resonant for its sublime delicacy. His efforts earned the film the honor of becoming the first Iranian feature to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 119 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 18, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is a perfect example of how a film can be made beautifully effective without having to resort to raw sex, constant violence, or complicated plots. It is the simple but charming story of two poor children, a brother and a sister, who must share one pair of shoes because the brother, during his walk home from the shoe repair loses his sister's shoes.The loss of the shoes brings on all the difficulties with which they must now cope. The film tenderly shows how they strive toward resolution of their problem. The dialogue is kept minimal, and yet the director has achieved a very solid tension that keeps your eyes glued to the screen from the opening frames till the very end. This film beautifully shows a world of which most Westerners are completley unaware, a world that is so different from our own. The bulk of the film is carried very capably, on the shoulders of two small, young children, and they do a totally magnificant job of making you believe this very lovely, charming, and worthy film. This is the stuff for which Oscars are made.
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85 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 14, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This 1997 film is from Iran. And it's the kind of film that the whole family can enjoy. It's about a 9-year old boy who loses his 7-year old sister's shoes through no fault of his own. They are very poor and they both want to keep it a secret from their parents. And so they share his only pair of worn-out sneakers. She wears them to school in the morning, and then runs through the streets, gives him the shoes and he wears them in the afternoon. Such a plan is not without its challenges, however. She almost loses a shoe when it falls into a gutter. He's late for school. The shoes are worn. Both of them crave a pair of their own.
Amir Farrokh Hasherman is cast as the boy. He has the biggest, most expressive eyes I've ever seen and my heart immediately went out to him. Bahare Seddiqi is the little sister. She wears a long dress and a white head covering just like all the other little girls. It's their shoes that show their individuality and she is always looking at all the other little girl's feet. One day she sees a little girl wearing her own lost shoes, but the other little girl is the daughter of a blind beggar. Later, there is a footrace announced in the little boy's school. He finds out that if he wins third prize he can get a new pair of sneakers. The tension mounts.
One of the best things about this film is that it brought me into another culture. This is not about revolution and bombs and sadness. This is just a simple story about the love between a brother and sister. It transcends all cultures, and makes the audience see the humanity of the children. There's one scene where they clean the shoes and blow great big soap bubbles at each other. It certainly is heartwarming. I just wanted to give these children a great big hug.
This is a beautiful film. I highly recommend it.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on July 23, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The wonderful Iranian film, "Children of Heaven," and its companion piece, "The White Balloon", remind one of those great Czechoslovakian films of the 1960's ("The Shop on Main Street" and "Loves of a Blonde" etc.) in that they achieve their artistry by providing keenly observed glimpses into the minutiae of everyday life. They also help to humanize a culture often regarded as alien and even incomprehensible to western eyes. Above all, this magnificent film reminds us that real drama comes not in the form of overplotted special effects laden extravaganzas, but from films that examine the universal simplicities of life as we all know it. When it is distilled through the eyes of a poet - this is when art is achieved.
"Children of Heaven" has its roots planted firmly in the neorealist tradition. Its simple story echoes not merely the earlier "The White Balloon" but the original Italian classic, "The Bicycle Thief." In this film, young Ali accidentally loses his sister's recently mended shoes; out of this tale of utmost simplicity, the filmmakers take us on a fascinating tour of life in a typical Iranian village and family. As Ali and his sister scheme to overcome this obstacle, the film touches on any number of universal themes: the close ties of siblings united in their common bond of avoiding often irrational parental anger; well meaning, loving parents overwhelmed with the trials of everyday life who are often compelled to act out in ways that seem cruel to the children who adore them; the petty viciousness with which children often strike out at each other, yet, at the same time, the often unexpectant kindness and empathy with which they also treat one another.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Ruiz on August 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I bought this movie without knowing what to expect, I have never been touched by a movie so much before. Forget Titanic, this is as real as love gets. The story however does not have the same concept as love between two strangers; in this case, it is about love between a brother and his little sister. The little boy looses her sister's shoes; they are so poor that the parents cannot afford to buy a new pair for her. They decide to keep it a little secret between them. The little boy feels so sad that he lost her sister's shoes, so he is determined to recover them; he does everything possible so her little sister is happy. Throughout the movie you can see the incredible amount of love that they have among each other. The movie takes place in Iran, so the movie is subtitled in English. But you do not have to look at the words at the bottom of the screen to understand what the message of the movie is. I recommend this movie to anyone. It will touch you so deeply inside your heart.
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Subtitles in spanish?
any spanish subtitle for this movie " children of heaven"?
Aug 8, 2011 by Juan C. Gasca |  See all 4 posts
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