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Children of Heaven (1997)
|by P. G. R. Nair|
Director: Majid Majidi/Iran /Persian/89mts
The plot is simple. Nine-year-old Ali is running errands for his mother… picking up bread from the baker, and waiting while his sister’s shoes are repaired by a shoemaker in a street side stall. While picking up potatoes, the shoes are taken by a blind trash hauler accidentally, and that event sets off a chain of events which will affect all the characters in this film. Ali convinces his sister to keep quiet, and the two decide to share one pair of shoes with heartwarming and hilarious results.
The story is presented in a great wash of the everyday. Director Majidi heightens innocence and vulnerability as he trains the camera on the kids, barely noticed in fascinating, sprawling, contemporary Tehran. As innocents, they are shining examples of humanity in an impersonal world.
"Children of Heaven" provides an entrancing look at Iranian society while also presenting a heartrending story of tenderness and childlike determination. In scenes reminiscent of Vittorio De Sica's "The Bicycle Thief," Ali accompanies his father to look for work in Tehran's cloistered, wealthy suburb. The family's luck improves slightly.
In the world of children, small gestures and simple activities take on great meaning. Majid Majidi unravels these with careful attention — a perilous encounter with an angry schoolmaster, a moment of enchantment blowing bubbles, a time of panic when a sneaker falls in an active sewage drain, and the soothing comfort of cooling feet in the courtyard pond. Children of Heaven is a sheer delight from start to finish.
A series of "Hundred Favorite Films Forever"
|More by : P. G. R. Nair|
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