Archive for the ‘Film Reviews’ Category

Written and Directed by Majid Majidi, “Children of Heaven” is an amazing family drama that portrays two siblings as the main characters.  Released primarily in the year of 1997, it depicts the innocence along with the sense of responsibility of two children of a poor family in Iran.


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Ali, a nine year old school going boy, is the eldest of three kids in the family. While Ali helps the family with buying things and other outside works, his sister, Zahra, does little household works and baby sits their youngest sibling. Their bedridden mother remains at rest as surgery has the chances of making her crippled for the rest of her life. Their father, who does not have a regular job, works ethically and hard to meet the family needs with small temporary works given by the neighbourhood. The costumes, especially girls and women’s hijab and men’s fatwa and pants, their language, Persian, being written from right to left, represents the Iranian Culture very neatly. Ali, Zahra and their parents are wearing the same clothes on many scenes representing consecutive days. Most of their clothes are dull in color that clearly distinguishes them from the better off families. The barter salesman appears occasionally in the streets selling things pictures the country sides very carefully. The un-concreted and unpainted brick-walls of the poor neighbourhood suit the mood of the movie. Despite poverty, the parents have taught their children to be honest, and trustworthy. For example, the family has inculcated good will to their kids explaining why he should not use the sugar given to him with trust.

This great movie that not only portrays the behaving nature of Ali and Zahra but also puts a step forward to delineate the children’s efforts to cope up with their family’s financial situation and to meet their needs on their own. The movie begins with Ali losing her sister’s pink shoes that was given to the cobbler for mending. When the shoes are not found after searching, Ali and Zahra plans to use the same sneakers one after the other on the same day. Zahra returns early to switch the slippers and Ali goes late to school every day. The movie created a curiosity of how the children would fight their problem of not having a pair of shoes. One day, Zahra finds a girl who wears her pink shoes and stalks her until home. Here, the curiosity arises whether the children would go through a bad means to get back their pink shoes. Day by day, the situation of the kids get worse making Ali lie to their school headmaster and Zahra more desperate to get back her pink shoes from her schoolmate. Sooner, Majid majidi draws a fine demarcation between the children’s understanding of the good and bad means of obtaining shoes. After Ali and Zahra find that the girl’s father is visually impaired and poor like them, they give up the idea of getting the pink shoes. This highlights the good will of the children that is either taught by their parents or possessed by them naturally. The story then revolves around the effort that his brother to buy a new pair of shoes for her sister.


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The music and camera shots brilliantly add spice to the twists and turns in the story. While unexpected incidents put the audience in despair, Ali shows a keen interest in winning a running race which gives a pair of shoes as the prize. However, what happens at the end may completely horripilate or disappoint the audience.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars