Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Children of Heaven (1997) PG - 3½ Stars

A very touching Iranian movie, filmed in Tehran, about the love between a brother and sister. From a poor neighborhood, the children have little possessions in their lives and any addition is treated like gold. After Ali looses his sisters shoes, they must share his pair so their parents will not find out. Farrokh and Naji are really great little actors, faces of innocence with puppy dog eyes. Simple story with not a lot of action but the message is well received. With subtitles it's the type of story you don't have to understand the language to enjoy the visuals that tell the story.

Ali (Mohammad Amir Naji) and his little sister Zahra (Mir Farrokh Hashemian), live in a very poor part of town with their mother (Fereshte Sarabandi) and father (Mohammad Amir Naji), and their new born sibling. The children, though young, have responsibilities in their family to both pitch in. Ali is in charge of picking up his sisters shoes from repair. He picks them up stops to get bread and potatoes on his way home. But a blind man comes by and mistakes his bag of shoes for trash and hauls them away. His father would be furious with Ali as they can barely afford to live let alone buy her another pair so Ali and Zahra make a pact with each other to share Ali's sneakers and not let their father know. Zahra uses them in the morning and Ali uses them in afternoon. It's not an easy task to switch off and keep their secret, but Ali promises to come in third in a foot race to win the pristine prize of brand new sneakers.

Institute For the Intellectual Development of Children & Young Adults, Donah Film Company
Director: Majid Majidi
Writer: Majid Majidi
Producer: Mohammad Sared Seyedzadeh
I viewed 1/11

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