Sunday 12 April 2015

Children of Heaven [1997]

Irrespective of where one stands with regards to appraising the film, there’s little denying the fact that Majid Majidi’s Children of Heaven possibly remains as Iran’s single-most well-known movie export. A charming, poignant and tragi-comic children’s film, it chronicled a simple but tender tale of innocence, heartbreak and triumph, apart from being an affecting account of an impoverished but closely knit family living in the socio-economic fringes of the society. Ali (Amir Farrokh Hashemian), a young wide-eyed kid, while fetching grocery for his family, inadvertently loses the recently mended shoes of his little sister Zahra (Bahare Seddiqi). Fearing the anger of his gruff but loving father (Reza Naji) and the potential effects on his ailing mother (Fereshte Sarabandi), Ali devises a cumbersome way to keep the loss a secret, even though he’s aware that such a scheme can’t go on for long, and not to mention Zahra’s embarrassment for having to wear his brother’s shoes to school. Hence, when an inter-school marathon competition is announced at his school, he decides to grab the opportunity and help get a new pair of shoes for his sister. The simplicity of the film’s premise and plotting is bound to strike an immediate chord with its viewers, along with the portrayal of the deep bond that the family members in general, and the young siblings in particular, share. A number of deftly devised sequences – the mad pursuit by Zahra to recover Ali’s shoes after it accidentally falls into a running sewer, Ali trip with his father to the posh and upscale section of Tehran looking for gardening jobs – lovingly captured the otherwise morose existences of its empathetically etched characters.

Director: Majid Majidi
Genre: Drama/Childhood Drama/Family Drama
Language: Persian
Country: Iran

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