IMDb > Children of Heaven (1997)
Bacheha-Ye aseman
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Children of Heaven (1997) More at IMDbPro »Bacheha-Ye aseman (original title)

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Children of Heaven -- When Ali loses his sister Zahra's school shoes, this young pair dream up a plan to stay out of trouble: they'll share his shoes and keep it a secret from their parents! But if they're going to successfully cover their tracks, Ali and Zahra must carefully watch their step on what rapidly turns into a funny, heartwarming adventure! A magical motion picture acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.
Children of Heaven -- Trailer


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Release Date:
22 January 1999 (USA) See more »
A Little Secret...Their Biggest Adventure!
After a boy loses his sister's pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. When he can't, he tries a new way to "win" a new pair. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 13 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Wholesome 100% natural cinematic staple -- well-leavened and savory! See more (122 total) »


  (in credits order)
Mohammad Amir Naji ... Ali's Father (as Amir Naji)

Amir Farrokh Hashemian ... Ali (as Mir Farrokh Hashemian)

Bahare Seddiqi ... Zahra
Nafise Jafar-Mohammadi ... Roya
Fereshte Sarabandi ... Ali's Mother
Kamal Mirkarimi ... Assistant (as Kamal Mir Karimi)
Behzad Rafi ... Trainer (as Behzad Rafiee)
Dariush Mokhtari ... Ali's Teacher
Mohammad-Hasan Hosseinian ... Roya's Father
Masume Dair ... Roya's Mother
Kambiz Peykarnegar ... Race Organizer
Hasan Roohparvari ... Race Photographer
Abbas-Ali Roomandi ... Shoemaker
Jafar Seyfollahi ... Green Grocer
Qolamreza Maleki ... Salt Seller
Zahra Mirzai ... Zahra's Teacher
Sara Zamani ... Trainer
Mohammad Haj-Hosseini ... Mosque Servant
Kazem Asqarpoor ... Grand Father
Mohammad-Hossein Shahidi ... Alireza
Seyd-Ali Hosseini ... Ali's Friend
Haj-Ali Salimi ... Old Man
Ahmad Mokhber ... Mash Ramezan
Golnaz Tariqat ... Ms. Koubab
Mash-Ebrahim Safari ... Ali's Father's Friend
Davud Shams ... Shoe Seller
Azade Qale Noi ... Video Cameraman
Faramarz Safarizadeh ... Video Cameraman
Hossein Ahamdloo ... Photographer
Siamak Haj-Amini ... Photographer
Soheil Haj-Amini ... Photographer
Rahman Kharazchi ... Referee
Jamshid Yusefi ... Referee
Javad Kazemi ... Referee
Mohammad Oskooi ... Award Presenter
Reza Dehghan ... Award Presenter
Ali Chaharian ... Award Presenter
Amir-Ali Kazemi ... First Runner
Navid Feyzabadi ... Second Runner / Third Runner
Pasha Shoja Zadeh ... Fourth Runner
Moshen Qadiri Nejad ... Runner
Amir Hossein Tavakkoli ... Runner
Hadi Maleki ... Runner
Mohammad Hossein Mortavazi ... Runner
Seyed Karym Alikhani ... Runner
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Christopher Maleki ... Salt Seller

Directed by
Majid Majidi 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Majid Majidi 

Produced by
Amir Esfandiari .... producer
Mohammad Esfandiari .... producer
Original Music by
Kayvan Jahanshahi 
Cinematography by
Parviz Malekzaade 
Film Editing by
Hassan Hassandoost 
Production Management
Seyyed Saeed Seyedzadeh .... production manager
Sound Department
Mohammad Reza Delpak .... sound designer
Yadollah Najafi .... sound recordist

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Visual Icon  exclusive clip and still licensing (uncredited)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Bacheha-Ye aseman" - Iran (original title)
"The Children of Heaven" - USA (review title)
See more »
Rated PG for some mild language
89 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Iran's official submission for the Foreign Language Film category of the 71st Academy Awards (1999).See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004)See more »


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52 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
Wholesome 100% natural cinematic staple -- well-leavened and savory!, 16 February 1999
Author: Ruby Liang (ruby_fff) from sf, usa

This translates to MUST-SEE! It's a credulous incredible storytelling of a young brother and sister in Tehran, and the adventurous saga around one very important pair of sneakers.

The two young actors are amazing -- they play their guileless naïve sensitivity with such earnestness! Central character, Ali, the 9 year old brother, is Mir Farrokh Hashemian, who really carried the film with his legwork, and the younger sister Zahra is Bahareh Seddiqui, who contributed her restrained share of screen presence. The pair is so natural: those furrowed faces, anxious knitted brows -- the range of sad faces the two came up with! The bond between the brother and sister is so warm and joyful - in spite of misfortunes.

The storyline is seemingly simple. Such story-weaving knack writer-director Majid Majidi has -- he can make chasing along a streaming gutter into an intense dramatic episode! The story has the texture likened to a Thomas Hardy novel (poverty setting, episode after episode, turn of events), yet such a relishingly simple delivery. He doesn't have to tell it all on the screen -- little nuances and observations suffice.

It's heartening to see young children who are polite and respectful to their elders, responsible and caring in dealing with their everyday problems, and not give up -- such quiet fortitude in spite of disappointments, such tolerance of their circumstance yet still able to find joy in little things. We catch a smile here and there, e.g., when they enjoy the impromptu soap bubbles, or when he encouraged his sister by giving her small tokens.

This is an absolute gem of a family (value) film. Children's emotions untapped, yet adults are not left out -- touches of grown-up connections: the parents, the elderly couple next door, the shop-owners, all made this world very real.

The camerawork, and the well-designed use of sound mixed with accompanying music (different tonal quality instruments were applied) complemented this cinematic experience. A poetic ending -- there's a serenity about it all.

I hope "Children of Heaven" will win this year's 71st Academy Award Best Foreign Film Oscar -- it will receive its due exposure and more people will experience this gem.

Along the lines of poverty and shoes, I thought of the Italian 1978's "The Tree of the Wooden Clogs" by writer-director Ermanno Olmi. And, on a story with substance and good acting by an Iranian young boy, there's 1989's "Bashu, The Little Stranger", by writer-director Bahram Beizai. Both are movies to be appreciated.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Children of Heaven (1997)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
what is the ending means? adsuperjenius-155-223267
It should be on top 250 ummaguumma
why didn't Ali wait right outside the school..?? lalit-iit
I am the flower of this country; obedient to the leader. cbluth-110-413767
Meaning of fish? Figaro14
A word of praise from a Pakistani sister ammafd1
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