Children of Heaven

Poonam sent me links to Children of Heaven.

On video.google.com it is in two parts. Below are its link. (update: videos no longer exist – I deleted links, sorry)

Iranian movie ”Children of Heaven,’’ is simple yet powerful.
The film captures the relationship of a brother (Ali, age 9) and sister (Zahra) and their endeavor over a lost pair of shoes (only pair of shoes belonging to his younger sister). This struggle of sorts brings out their poverty of choice and purity of love.

I wasn’t sure I wanted watch this movie at first few minutes because it seems dark side of human drama and may be too  foreign to me. That’s I thought and I was wrong.  I realized that if you have a little bit of empathy then you are able to appreciate the movie. I  found this boy (only 9 years old) has so much love, sense of responsibility. I felt he carry tons of burden on his shoulder, yet he is amazingly innocent.

One of scene that I almost forgotten this is a movie. Here is scene; Ali missed children’s footrace selection. He find out that third prize is pair of sneakers. He begs teacher to enroll his name for the competition. It is unbelievably wonderful acting here.

One of the things which cause the Ali such pain is that his young sister worships him, and yet he has failed her (he wanted be third but came in first place in race and he did not get new sneakers for her). Movie director understands how cataclysmic such an event can seem to a child, and although he acknowledges the presence of their parents (near final scene you will see father is riding bicycle with 2 pairs of brand-new shoes on back of his bicycle), he wisely stays focused on the children’s perspective.

I felt this is not a movie, it’s a glimpse of life in somewhere in Iran and makes western family values seem so lacking in innocence.

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