Children of Heaven - 1998

Directed by Majid Majidi

Young Ali (Mir Farrokh Hashemian) looses his sister's only pair of shoes and the two must find a way to continue attending school without this being noticed by their parents.

Color, 1 hour 28 minutes, Farsi

Original Title: Bacheh ha-ye Aseman

Watch Trailer (English), Watch Scene (Farsi w/English subtitles)

Star Rating


Firouzan Rank # 6

Cast


Mohammad Amir Naji Ali's Father
Mir Farrokh Hashemian Ali
Bahareh Sedighi Zahra
Nafiseh Jafar Mohammadi Roya
Fereshteh Sarabandi Ali's Mother
Kamal Mirkarimi Principal
Behzad Rafi Coach
Dariush Mokhtari Ali's Teacher
Mohammad Hassan Hosseinian Roya's Father
Masumeh Dalir Roya's Mother
Zahra Mezani Zahra's Teacher
Kazem Asgharpour Grandfather
Mohammad Hossein Shahedi Ali Reza
Seyyed Ali Hosseini Ali's Friend

Crew


Writer Majid Majidi
Director Majid Majidi
Producer Amir Esfandiari
Director of Photography Parviz Malekzadeh
Sound Recordist Yadollah Najafi
Production Designer Asghar Nezhad Imani
Editor Hassan Hassandoust
Sound Mixer Mohammad Reza Delpaak
Music Keivan Jahanshahi

Pictures


Zahra's battered shoes are repaired not long before Ali looses them.

Zahra's battered shoes are repaired not long before Ali looses them.

Zahra (Bahareh Seddighi) takes care of the baby, unaware of the bad news her brother is about to break.

Zahra (Bahareh Sedighi) takes care of the baby, unaware of the bad news her brother is about to break.

Passing notes during homework time - Ali (Mir Farrokh Hashemian) suggests sharing his shoes so they can both attend school.

Passing notes during homework time - Ali (Mir Farrokh Hashemian) suggests sharing his shoes so they can both attend school.

Zahra is embarrassed of her brother's plain, dirty, boyish shoes.

Zahra is embarrassed of her brother's plain, dirty, boyish shoes.

Rushing to exchange shoes with Ali.

Rushing to exchange shoes with Ali.

Taking a break from washing Ali's tattered old shoes.

Taking a break from washing Ali's tattered old shoes.

Ali accompanies his father (Mohammad Amir Naji) as he looks for gardening work in a richer part of Tehran.

Ali accompanies his father (Mohammad Amir Naji) as he looks for gardening work in a richer part of Tehran.

Ali's father takes in the opulent yard of a rich family.

Ali's father takes in the opulent yard of a rich family.

Racing for third place and the brand new pair of shoes that comes with it.

Racing for third place and the brand new pair of shoes that comes with it.

'Did I come in third?'

"Did I come in third?"

Ali rests his tired feet.

Ali rests his tired feet.

DVD


Children of Heaven DVD Case

Purchase DVD at Amazon.com

External Reviews


By Janet Maslin The New York Times

The young hero of Majid Majidi's "Children of Heaven" is played by Mir Farrokh Hashemian, a desolate-looking boy with huge brown eyes and a way of sending tears suddenly rolling down his cheeks. Those tears well up with some regularity during this film about 9-year-old Ali, his younger sister Zahra (Bahareh Sedighi) and their scheme for sharing a pair of his tattered sneakers. The children want to hide the fact that Zahra's shoes have been lost because this will be a hardship for their parents. The family's carefully detailed poverty, which reflects the filmmaker's own childhood experience, colors everything that happens in this story. Continued

By Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid

This movie from Iran, by Majid Majidi, is stunning and unforgettable in its honest, direct approach. A small boy from a poor family in Tehran loses his sister's shoes on the way home from getting them repaired. In order to escape the wrath of their father, he and his sister must share his shoes every day, racing back and forth through the streets to meet one another and switch shoes. "Children of Heaven" belongs in a class with Vittorio De Sica's "The Bicycle Thief" (1949) and Satyajit Ray's "Pather Panchali" (1955), with a little of Peter Yates' "Breaking Away" (1979) thrown in.

By Ari Siletz www.arisiletz.com

This movie was produced by Iran’s Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, an important fact for the Western viewer to keep in mind. "Children of Heaven" is a charming fable that teaches us how to be good Iranians. Paradoxically, its simple plot also reveals the tragedies that befall those who learn their lesson too well. The gentleness, compassion, honesty and courage that the narrative so ably demonstrates give rise to the protagonists' questionable act of forbearance: their noble resolve not to burden authority figures with their problem. Continued

By Edwin Jahiel Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel

Iranian cinema became known around the mid-1960s. In 1979, the fall of the Shah and the takeover by the Ayatollah Khomeini's regime made the country into a theocracy with many restrictions and severe censorship. During the Khomeini decade, cinema declined in numbers, quality and scope.

With the death of Khomeini and a (very relative) "liberalization," good filmmaking picked up. Several directors -- notably Abbas Kiarostami -- became world figures, not in the entertainment-oriented, subtitles-loathing USA, but in Europe and its festivals. Censorship however, though somewhat relaxed, is still going strong in Iran. Continued



Copyright © 2006-2010 Firouzan Films. All rights reserved.