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Bacheha-Ye aseman
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Reviews & Ratings for
Children of Heaven More at IMDbPro »Bacheha-Ye aseman (original title)

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Simple and Complex

10/10
Author: ehy2k from New England
15 February 2004

I believe that we tend to view people from Iran, or other parts of the Middle East, as one-dimensional people. We read news stories, listen to politicians, never hearing about the mundanities of everyday life.

This story is about 2 sibliings faced with a dilemma: the boy loses his sister's shoes, leaving one pair of shoes between them, which they share. While this might not be such a travesty in the USA, for these children, it's about the worse thing that can happen to them. They understand their parent's circumstances and never tell them, almost knowing that it would add to their miserable financial circumstances. Watch the film to see how the boy tries to fix the situation.

Beautifully filmed, nicely acted, with a not-overly preachy message, it would be a good film for any self-indulgent teenager to see, the next time they argue with their parents over money for the newest or latest status symbols.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Gem of a Film which put Majid Majidi on the World Cinema map; Brilliance Radiates!

8/10
Author: akash_sebastian from India
25 April 2014

This film, which put Director Majid Majidi on the World Cinema map, is a piece of gem. The story revolves around a pair of shoes, or rather its absence; never did I imagine that a pair of shoes can sustain my interest for 90 minutes. Writer/Director Majidi tackles issues like poverty, necessity, selflessness, purity of childhood, sibling-love, perseverance and determination with such aesthetic and charm, without being melodramatic.

After five minutes into the movie, the kid Ali confesses to her sister Zahra that he lost her shoes and he couldn't find them; the innocence and sadness portrayed in this scene draws you into their lives immediately. The two kids are the heart and soul of the movie, and carry the movie forward with their range of genuine and varied emotions; the director draws out such powerful and sublime performances out of them. Even the supporting performances of Ali's father and the-small-girl-in-school are quite commendable.

Losing something you're entrusted to, getting into trouble at home/school, asking your sibling/friend to cover up for you, sharing responsibilities when someone you care is sick, determination to win something with a larger goal in mind - these themes are so universal that a kid or adult from any place could easily relate to. The story might seem too linear and optimistic to some, but it portrays a world of love and selflessness. People, especially kids, with lesser means are often more selfless and helpful than their fellow beings with more riches; they appreciate and understand the value of even the simplest and smallest of things.

The incidents, the adventures, and the whole running around due to the missing pair of shoes teaches them a lot of things. All the running around eventually pays off when Ali gets selected into the school race team; we never really realize how we acquire certain talents.

Other than the brilliant acting, the artistically shot scenes and the remarkable background score add to the beauty and feel of the movie. The seven-minute kids' race sequence towards the and is quite craftily shot and directed. There are so many scenes which are memorable, and stay etched in your mind for a long time.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

the CINEMA has explained it's meaning to me..

10/10
Author: likitha-kona969-407-207205 from hyderabad
7 May 2013

I had been postpone of watching this movie so many times,but once i was checking movies randomly as which movie i have to watch today?then accidentally i have seen this movie. OH majid majidi, i had fallen in love with your kind of story telling, this CINEMA has changed my perception about the CINEMA , the best move i have ever seen in my lifetime as i can say with no doubt.i smiled when the children had smile,i cried when they cried instinctively, i have experienced it as it should be. cinema doesn't need big budget, computer generated images,stars when this kind of director is there...there is nothing to say about story,it has just one line as the boy lose her sister shoes,until they get new pair they should be adjust with one pair of shoe in daily bad circumstances at that age.love you majid majidi.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It'll make your day, week... or life better

10/10
Author: sarnela from Sofia, Bulgaria
7 December 2012

A different world, different relations, different love...

All in one.

If you are not sure about the meaning of life - after this movie you'll be more confident that it has some :)

This is a movie that puts smile on your face. A movie that grabs your deepest and most sincere emotions and brings them out to the surface. It makes you feel like... purified.

At some moments during the movie I asked myself if such story could be real... If such relations could exist...

I feel they could.

A film about pure and innocent love. See it - it'll make your day, week... or life better.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Ah Shoe!! Bless you Mister Majidi...

10/10
Author: hellojaeson from Australia
30 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I write as someone who not only loves this film, but as someone who understands how much a pair of shoes is worth.

As I write this, I have about $25 in the bank. I have no other money. I struggle each day to find meaning... and stable work. I have worked all my life... until recently. And now my pair of shoes is at least 2 years old... and I make sure I don't wear them out.

Watching this film again, I can appreciate this story as being more than allegorical. There is symbolism in the film but its literal meaning is as potent as its often poetic images.

So, to anyone who believes this film to simply be a modern analogy... it isn't. There are definitely people living in our world today living under weighty consequences of losing their protective sole. I am one of them.

What I hope this film does for me... and for anyone else who loves this movie... is to help keep our spirits buoyant when life hands us over-sized hand me downs. I know it has reminded me that my shoes look a darn sight better than the ones in this story and yet the characters managed to still keep striving in life. The one thing they never did, was give up.

I hope this ode to love of family, devotion to hope and having a forgiving heart will be one of my beacons, giving me direction towards light when the dark bleak nights of the soul smother me.

This work of motion picture art seems dedicated to all of us who don't have much left in the world except our human hearts. Our need to live for better things. Our desire to hold on to love and the people most dearest to our souls. This is a film about being brave in a world that can easily run us over. If these 2 small children can hold on to hope, perhaps all of us can too.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Majid Majidi....take a bow

10/10
Author: sampit from United States
20 October 2009

You have given me something that I can cherish for a lifetime. The characters were believable and immaculately portrayed . The story though simple and for some trivial unravels like a poetry, spellbinding and so riveting, that it takes us right into the world of Ali and Zahara. The child actors are stunning to say the least and only the hardest of souls will not be moved.

Its totally different than all the crap that comes out nowadays with all the stars, money and special effects minus the soul. This movie has a soul and every frame emotes such innocence that I have never ever seen before. This is what movie making is all about and I just cant stop thinking about it. The climax is a triumph with Ali giving a virtuoso performance.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

excellent children sentimental drama

10/10
Author: (ravishe2k6@gmail.com) from India
24 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was in nexus of one movie on star movies two days before named. "children of heaven"...that was accidentally..because the movie was at late night...& i do like to watch the movies at prime time & mostly sci-fi, action, comedy & some time sensitive...but This movie I came in to watch was great experience.

It was a persian, iranian, English language film...

It is a story of two children Ali & Zahra, very briefly crafted, & what a language that was, very simple & polite, even a moderate English speaking person can also understand it.

Such a sentimental story...Ali takes his little sister Zahra's shoes to the shoemaker to be repaired, but loses them on the way home. The siblings decide to keep the predicament a secret from their parents, knowing that there is no money to buy a replacement pair and fearing that they will be punished.They devise a scheme to share Ali's sneakers: Zahra will wear them to school in the morning and hand them off to Ali at midday so he can attend afternoon classes. This uncomfortable arrangement leads to one adventure after another as they attempt to hide the plan from their parents and teachers, attend to their schoolwork and errands, and acquire a new pair of shoes for Zahra. Zahra sees the shoes on a schoolmate's feet, and follows her home, but the two soon become friends.Ali enters a high-profile children's footrace in the hope of receiving the third prize of a new pair of sneakers. He accidentally places first and wins another prize instead.

The film ends with Zahra finding out that she will not get a new pair of shoes, but there is a quick shot of their father's bicycle at the end of the movie that shows what appears to be the red shoes Zahra had been focusing on earlier and another pair of white sneakers, presumably for Ali, whose old sneakers were torn from so much use. The film ends with the final shot showing blisters on Ali's feet. Some versions include an epilogue revealing that Ali eventually achieves the larger-scale success of having a racing career.

that brother-sister moments were made us very calm & heart pulsating..great to watch...I will not miss the chance if I get to see it again

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

levels of the film

Author: kingm8 from United States
21 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the 1997 film, Children of Heaven, from director Majid Majidi, the audience is presented with a modern view of Iranian issues. The film portrays an allegorical story in which the current levels of Iranian social order are symbolized through children. The director also, inadvertently, discusses the role of Islam in the lives of Iranians. All of these issues are important to note because they assist the audience in fully understanding the film. I will provide the reader with a brief plot summary, followed by examples of significant symbolism, and finally discuss the director's motivations for portions of the film.

This interestingly creative commentary on the Iranian way of life begins by offering the audience with their first bit of symbolism in the opening scenes. The audience is shown a wide lends shot of a shoe cobbler fixing a decrepit, old shoe that looks as if it belongs to a young girl (which we are later shown is the case). It is apparent that the shoe carries great significance because it is the film's longest scene and is the object that keeps the plot in constant momentum. Once the shoe is fixed by the man it is given back to Ali, the film's main character who portrays the youth of Iran, and who also loses the shoe when he put it down at the market. He returns home without the shoe to tell his sister that it was lost but that he will find it. This is where the audience first sees their home and how poor they are, a common reality for a large number of Iranians. The plot of the film centralizes around Ali's determination to retrieve the lost shoes which appear to always be around the corner. This may be another comment from the director in regards to change in the lives of Iranians and how he thinks it is just around the corner.

The audience is presented with characters along Ali's journey that stand for things such as the Iranian government and citizens both impoverished and wealthy. The students of children's school are shown each day in the courtyard in straight rows where they all are directed to repeat after the teacher who is announcing rules through a megaphone. This is an apparent representation of the government's role and of the citizens'. The audience is also submerged with countless examples that represent the will of God or Allah; with the use of water which symbolizes purification, and through the different characters and settings. When we meet the little girl who is wearing Zahra's shoes and then is followed home by Zahra, we see that she is very poor also and her father is blind. But even though their situation is a rough one, one that is very similar to most Iranians, they are still very happy. I think this sums up what the director has in store for the future of Iranians.

In conclusion, I felt that the film was very moving and spoke about numerous issues such as poverty, the relationship between us and God, and the relationship between man and government. I think that the director's use of children to convey his message is very innovative and I feel it was a success. It is not hard to see why after viewing the film, that it was so popular among critics. Lastly, I believe that the director's choice of ending is meant to leave the audience with whatever they imagine as the importance because so many people have so many ideas of what the future has in store for Iran.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Zahra's Shoes

10/10
Author: williamtinch from United States
12 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Children of Heaven is a movie that strays away from the fast paced, action packed thriller that most Americans, like me, are familiar with. The editing and framing are done in compliance with Iranian rules about propriety. Men are never shot in the same scene with women that they are not married to or have a family orientation with, but children, as it is allowed by Iranian standards, are shown in any context with each other and any other adult. The pace of the movie is significantly slowed down from the Western motion picture custom and the scenes, as well as the people, are all real. This is to say, that there are no professional actors in the majority of the movie and the scenes are that of real Iranian cities, schools, and homes; there are no sets. The literary elements of the film are dealt with at a unique angle as well. The plot is based on the folly of Ali as it relates to his sister's cherished shoes, a ratty pair of children's shoes, and the pursuit, after they have been lost, of returning those shoes to Zahra: Ali's sister. The development of the story is slow but charming, in my opinion, as the journey to the regain the shoes is drawn out over the entirety of the film but treated with specificity while using allegory to point out struggles between traditional and modern day Iran in relation to the government of Iran and its impinges on the citizens therein. The characters and conflict are uncomplicated and delightful, seeing that they are simply about common people dealing with common problems.

The real impact of the film is shown in how these common people care for these common blunders that any of us are likely to make; dealing in courageous ways and in observance with honorable means to meet the objectives that each has set forth to accomplish. The social commentary is invisible to the untrained eye, but no less exists clearly within the context of the film to show how each sect of the Iranian society experiences the pleasures and obstacles that are present in modern Iranian life. One such example of this social commentary exists within the relationship of the school principal (symbolizing the government of Iran), Ali's teacher (symbolizing the educated middle class), and Ali himself (symbolizing the lower, working class citizens of Iran). Also, the use of water throughout the movie symbolizes the will of God and is done so with loving consideration, best represented at the end of the movie that closes with Ali's blistered feet resting in a pond (symbolizing that submission to God's will is the best place for anyone and their concern to be).

I really enjoyed this film after I understood the context of which the story took place and of what purpose it set out to achieve. Children of Heaven gave me great insight into a society of which I was previously unfamiliar with. I highly recommend the film to anyone who wants to know more about Middle Eastern cultures, especially Iran. In the end, the film points out, rather nicely, the importance of an honorable journey to a principled end while explicating that coming in first, or having the most, are not the most essential pursuits in life. Children of Heaven is a charming story with a profound message that many of us fail to recognize and sometimes all it takes is a simple story about a simple pair of shoes to bring us back.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Children of Heaven

8/10
Author: goldsbs from United States
12 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When my college professor chose this film to show, I was a bit skeptical as to whether I would enjoy this movie. This was my first time watching an Iranian film. I was surprised to find myself feeling so many different emotions for Ali and his sister Zahra. This is the type of movie that brings happy tears in the end. This film provides you with a story of compassion and love for one another. In the Children of Heaven, a brother shows concern and guardianship for his little sister. This type of behavior towards siblings in the United States is less likely to happen. Therefore, I was surprised at how thoughtful people of Iran treat others they care for. After learning about the Middle East and their relationship with God, I was able to see the symbolisms that the director was portraying. The actors based outcomes in the movie as their belief that the will of God is more powerful than any other belief. Ali coming in first place in the race was a will of God. This might be why Zahra was not upset with him when he returned home empty handed. The director chose to capture the sense of being a child. His film angles were set low at a child's level so the audience could follow along with the kids and relate to them. In addition, the movie shows that the younger generation of Iran seems to be more in control with changes and are willing to change. The older generation of Iran seems to be set in their ways and change is not comfortable with them. This might be why you get the sense that the children are more knowledgeable and clever than their parents and elders. This film is a must see for anyone who is a sucker for tearful happy endings. If you appreciate different cultural beliefs and ideas, chances are Children of Heaven will make you smile.

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