Children of Heaven [VHS]
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
Top customer reviews
They enjoyed it tremendously. They cheered when Ali won the race, were touched by the strong emotional bond between the brother and sister, and related to the travails of the poor Iranian family. I guess they were a little surprised that oil-rich Iran, a country where a lot of Filipinos work in order to send money back home, has poor people, too. The movie was a change from the First World perspective and escapism of the Hollywood movies they were used to. Islamic and relatively wealthy Iran created a movie that connected with a Christian audience from a poor country. The movie was close to home.
Should you watch this movie? Yes. This tender and powerful movie counters the dehumanizing consequences of global conflict and world politics (usually dictated by isolated and narrow-minded men). Iran is often in news, monolithically depicted as this nuclear threat. In the face of such negative media representation, of "axis of evil" rhetorics, the inevitable Arabophobia after 9/11, it is easy to forget the humanity of the people who have no choice but to live in unpopular states, like in Iran. The film is a reminder of their humanity, our common humanity: of GOODNESS, CARING, CONCERN, GENEROSITY, LOVE.
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