|Fig 1 - Children of Heaven Poster|
Written and directed by Majid Majidi, the film begins in Tehran where a young boy named Ali (Amir Farrokh Hashemian) is visiting the cobbler's to get his sister's shoes fixed. On the way home, he misplaces the shoes whilst collecting groceries and soon reluctantly informs Zahra (Bahare Seddiqi) of his mistake. At this point we are introduced to Ali's sickly mother (Fereshte Sarabandi), who we learn is behind on the rent, and his father (Mohammad Amir Naji) who works as a waiter to his own dismay. Due to their financial situation, Ali realises the trouble he'll be in if their parents find out he lost the shoes, so his sister agrees to keep quiet about it. As a compromise, Zahra begins wearing Ali's shoes to school in the mornings and then runs home to let Ali wear them in the afternoons. However this often makes Ali late for school, which is not looked upon greatly by the headmaster and lands him in trouble on several occasions. Towards the end, the school sets up a running competition in which, would you believe it, the third place prize is in fact a brand new pair of sneakers. Ali then puts it upon himself to enter the race in order to come third and thus give his sister the shoes.
|Fig 2 - Children of Heaven - Ali and Zahra|
For what is essentially a kids film, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It doesn't tie up every loose end like it could, but it never feels necessary. And though the narrative isn't particularly special, it gives a grounded and feel-good insight into the Iranian culture and has a genuinely thrilling pay-off to boot.
Fig. 1 Children of Heaven Poster (1997) From: Children of Heaven - Directed by: Majid Majidi
Fig. 2 Children of Heaven Screenshot (1997) From: Children of Heaven - Directed by: Majid Majidi