Posts Tagged ‘Children’

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.

children-of-heaven

Image from Google Search

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.

children-of-heaven-poster

Image from Google Search

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

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I am Kandi. I and Ben were the only two persons in that strange island both representing female and male genders respectively. When I thought of going to an island, I imagined it to be densely forested with many wild animals and birds and surrounded by turquoise blue ocean. To my dismay, all I could see in the island was either in red or black in color. There were bare trees that were all rooted on floating grounds. Occasionally, a bird flew over those grounds that did no harm to me. As soon as I entered, I started running as if someone was chasing me for no reason. I couldn’t turn back… I couldn’t stop…neither could I cry for help from Ben for he did not  exist in my world. All I was able to do is to jump from one floating ground to the other thus trying to save myself from falling down. I jumped, double jumped as I has an athlete body with a normal speed to run endlessly. My speed increased suddenly to which I was not able to jump quickly on time. To all my bad luck, I encountered a big ground and fell down to death. I gasped lying back on my chair and I sighed!!!!

It was Island Runner! – A game similar to temple run in which I spent hours jumping, sliding down, turning left/right and also collecting coins on the way. I am not a game addict in case if you misunderstood me as one because its always been easy for me to control myself from playing games. Having said that, I also go very deeply into a game environment once I start to play it – I think, it is true for anyone who plays games of this kind.

Snapshot of “Island Runner” in free-games.net

Games have been one of the best entertaining activities for centuries although it is an important tool in education field as well. The definitions of games have been changing as new concepts, technology and demand for more fun and entertainment grows. The very basic definitions of games from the few dictionaries such as dictionary.com and Oxford are as follows. According to dictionary.com, game is “a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators”. We can accept this as a classic definition of game(s) to some extent. Competition among players is one of the driving forces for achievements in games. Generally, the one who gains higher scores are the better players. In temple run or island runner, it is not a competition between two or more persons. There is only one player who overcomes certain obstacles to gain high scores. Therefore, we could say that the player is competitive to his/her previous scores unless he/she literally compares with his/her friend who sits besides playing the same game in a different device and tries to improve her score. According to Oxford dictionaries, game is “an activity or a sport with rules in which people or teams compete against each other”. This definition includes sport as a game but sport needs more physical activity than games with an agreed set of rules. For example, Pong was one of the earliest unreal tennis games in history. It includes the idea of sport within it although it requires less physical effort. Researches about the emerging dimensions of games have provided specific and inclusive definitions. David Kelley in 1988 has defined game as a form of recreation with a set of rules that mentions some objects and the way to achieve those objects. His definition is based on the ultimate goal of playing which is to achieve something. Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman in 2003, has stated that a game is a system in which players work on an artificial conflict with set of rules and give out a quantifiable outcome. Therefore, we can say game is an activity that engages one or more players with a set of rules and challenges to accomplish certain tasks in a real or unreal setting. This is a limited definition because the purpose and tools of games are not discussed.

Snap shot of “Pong” in ponggame.org

Games have evolved: from reality to virtual. Reality (or real) games have a tangible and natural environment whereas ‘virtual games’ have intangible and artificial environment. Virtual games include both video and online games. Video games or console games needs consoles that need to be connected to the television set and can be played using controller(s). Online games need laptops, computers or any other similar devices with memory to install games through internet. Unlike video games, they do not need consoles or handling devices and hence use the keyboard, screen, joystick or mouse to interact. In video and online games, the gaming environment is created based on any computer programming thus making it unreal or virtual. Be it a carom board or cricket bat that serves as a usual tool for those respective non-electronic games, it is replaced by monitors or keyboards in electronic games. In the previous example of having tennis game pong consists only two objects representing a bat and ball. The bat just needs to be moved using arrow keys to throw the ball to the opponent. This was a game only used to run on TV, however, we now have those games on internet as well. It is very easy to distinguish a game that is in the real world or in a virtual world. What is important is that virtual games consist of video and online games and the changes from classic to virtual games are evolutionary rather than a complete shift.

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