89 Min. | Drama – Family | December 1997
IMDB Rating: 8.4
Director: Majid Majidi
Starring: Mohammad Amir Naji, Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi
Children of Heaven Review
Children of Heaven, Majid Majidi’s film is about a young boy named Ali who accidentally lost his sister Zahra’s shoes. But their family can ill afford to buy new shoes, Ali decides to share his shoes with his sister until he can get new ones for her and so he can avoid punishment. In Children of Heaven, the acting is pretty good, and pretty heartfelt. There is no questioning the chemistry between Amir Farrokh Hashemian as Ali and Bahare Seddiqi as Zahra. Reza Naji who plays as their father is also good as the man who is trying to do all he can to provide food for his family.
“Children of Heaven” reveals things most Americans think they already know about Iran, strong patriarchal society, strange mix of high tech and ancient coexisting comfortably, certainly not diverse the way we perceive it. There are some unintended revelations that are refreshing. Strong scholastic discipline among the middle classes, sibling bonding altruism that outstrips natural sibling rivalry, family values that are the equal of any anywhere, but, most beautiful to me, the greenery of the country. This last is not showcased, but all the more surprising because it’s taken for granted. This is a beautiful land.
Overall, Children of Heaven is a simple film but it displays a strong message about the bond of family. There are some talented films from the Middle East and this is one of them. It’s a strong film about courage and about doing what’s right. My favorite scene is where the father and the son leave their poor slums as they head uptown to the rich neighborhoods. Children of Heaven shows how American kids are vastly different than kids from these parts of the world and not exactly in a good way. Children of Heaven is a little too simple, but there is no denying how powerful this film is.
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