Children of Heaven (1997) Poster

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9/10
seemingly dull plot but marvelous!
MartinHafer28 August 2005
When I repeatedly passed this film at the local library, I completely ignored it because it looked rather dull and I must admit I had a prejudice against Iranian films. I incorrectly assumed that the movie would somehow be anti-Western or full of Islamic anger. Boy, I am VERY glad I was proved wrong.

When I say "dull" above, I am referring to the incredibly simple and mundane plot--the movie is ACTUALLY far from dull. A boy loses his sister's shoes after he picks them up from the shoe repair shop and the rest of the movie consists of him and his sister trying to hide this from their parents. So, HOW does this merit a 9? Well, actually it came pretty close to a 10 (for that see the follow-up film The Color of Paradise)--it was that good. This is thanks to excellent acting by real people and a humanity about the film that crosses all cultures. Despite so many differences between the people of Iran and the United States, this film gave me a ray of hope due to characters' decency and sense of values. This film reminds me very much of the simple yet wonderful films by DeSica, such as Umberto D., The Miracle in Milan and Two Women.
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9/10
universal life
SnoopyStyle16 July 2018
In a poor Tehran neighborhood, Ali picks up a pair of shoes for his sister Zahra. He loses them while in a store buying potatoes. His father is a simple laborer and his mother is bedridden. He is desperate to hide the mistake from his father and decides to share his sneakers with his sister.

The shoes may be small but the stakes do not get much higher. That is the universal truth and that is the greatness of this movie. The family has so little that those shoes mean everything. The kids are terrific. One can really feel their fear and embarrassment. These are big time performances and they have great humanity. The tension in that race does not get much higher. It is all about the stakes and that small prize has such big stakes. There is a parallel with the Bicycle Thieves and I dare say that this approaches that cinematic icon. This was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar but lost to Life Is Beautiful.
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7/10
"You're not a kid anymore. You're nine years old!"
classicsoncall6 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
On the face of it, this is a gentle and warm hearted movie that so many reviewers have detailed already that I won't have to go into an explanation of what occurred. The young actor portraying Ali (Amir Farrokh Hashemian) was quite incredible conveying the emotions involved with losing his sister's shoes, trying to explain the dilemma to her and dealing with the school principal who always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when Ali got to school late.

The sister (Bahare Seddiqui) was also quite good but not as accomplished as her sibling. I actually found the side story of Zahra dropping her pen and her new friend Roya returning it to be somewhat more compelling. The subject of the 'lost' shoes never came up between them, even though Zahra saw her wearing them, retrieved from the discarded material at the produce stand. One wonders why the subject never came up; one assumes Zahra was too shy or embarrassed to ask about them.

What I'm not understanding is why there wasn't more of a sense of closure for Ali and Zahra over the fate of the shoes. Granted, Ali went the extra mile by entering the race contest and winning, but in this case, it was the father who would inadvertently save the day with new shoes for both of them after earning a good day's pay. There is probably some meaning to be taken from the goldfish ending that eludes me, but it's something I won't dwell on. The film works as a feel good movie for the resolution of Ali and Zahra's plight, but I didn't get a sense of what was so extraordinary in the telling.
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9/10
Made me smile from start to finish
Tweekums9 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Until a fortnight ago I'd never seen an Iranian film and assumed any film from their would just be religious or political propaganda... perhaps there are films like that but having just watched this film and "Offside" it is clear that they also make fantastic character based films that are a delight to watch.

On the face of it a film about a poor boy losing his sister's only pair of shoes doesn't sound the basis for a film that is both interesting and a joy to watch but it works. With his mother too ill to work and his father in a low paid job young Ali promises his sister Zahra that he will get her shoes back if she doesn't tell their parents about the loss. When he fails to find them he offers to share his own footwear; an old pair of trainers. This means that as soon as her school is over Zahra must run through the narrow back streets to get the shoes to Ali so he can go to his school, even though he runs he is slightly late each day and is getting in trouble.

Director Majid Majidi did a great job getting such natural performances from his two stars, both of whom were young children. It is surprising that the children didn't go on to star in further films as they were both a joy to watch and made the viewer really care for their plight. The film might sound a bit boring and depressing but it isn't, there are a few sad scenes but for the most part it is a film that had me smiling from start to finish, I'll have to look out for more films from Iran.
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Wonderfully heartwarming
Gordon-119 March 2003
Wow, what can I say? Every bit of this film is so warm! It really looked at the world from a child's perspective. Every single scene is inundated with sweetness and the innocence of children. How they share one pair of shoes was amazing...and heartbreaking. How the little sister had no confidence in her brothers shoes was shown in such a warm and effective way. The ultimate despair Ali felt when he won was also so heartbreaking. Ali and his sister are both so cute and they can really act. This film can easily move one to tears. Do watch it!
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7/10
Sweet, though not very profound, movie
grantss9 April 2017
Ali has a problem. He has just lost the prized pair of shoes of his sister, Zahra. He tries to find them but to no avail. Now he and Zahra have to share shoes at school, a situation which causes all sorts of problems. Ali comes up with other plans to get Zahra a pair of shoes. Meanwhile, Zahra thinks she may have tracked down the new owner of her shoes.

Sweet movie from Iran. The spin-off events from the loss of the shoes and the adventures of the kids are quite entertaining. Also a great, warmth-filled reminder of life's simple pleasures and how things which may seem unimportant to one person in one culture and/or socio- economic sphere can be vitally important to someone with different circumstances.

Not particularly profound though. The movie doesn't really come up with much in the way of profundities or even a powerful conclusion (in fact, the conclusion is fairly weak). It's a simple, linear story with very few frills or great twists, told engagingly and with great warmth.

The movie was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 1999 Oscars, losing out in the end to Life is Beautiful.
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9/10
Heaven Can Wait.
morrison-dylan-fan31 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
When reading up about the Iran New Wave (INW) one of the first titles I found out about was Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven. Intrigued by the details,I was disappointed in being unable to track a good print of the movie down. Checking on what films were about to go from Netflix UK,I was thrilled to find an INW film,that I hoped would be heavenly viewing.

The plot:

Going to get shopping for his family,Ali puts the new shoes his dad ordered for his sister Zahra on the side for a minute.Coming back with a shopping bag,Ali finds that the shoes have been taken. Thinking of the money issues facing the family,Ali tries to keep things hidden. Secretly talking to Zahra,the siblings make a deal of each taking it in turns to wear Ali's old sneakers between classes. Believing that this is the new path they must walk,Ali is thrilled to learn of a contest that might let him make things up to Zahra.

View on the film:

Keeping the camera at Ali and Zahra's level,writer/director Majid Majidi & cinematographer Parviz Malekzaade masterfully cut rustic INW Neo-Realism with the dramatic heft of the Sports Drama. Keeping costs as low as possible by shooting on location, Majidi gives the side streets of Tehran an earthy atmosphere brushed with lingering shots breathing in the daily life of the family and small tracking shots getting beneath the busy streets of the town. Stepping into the "sports movie" Majidi balances the earthy setting with elegant slow motion that brings out the loud gasps from Ali in his desire to make up for his mistake.

Lacing a bond between brother and sister,the screenplay by Majidi gives an extraordinary richness in the daily lives of the family,as Majidi brings to light the smallest moments between the family,from Zahra and Ali writing less than secret notes to each other,to Ali having to run out in the rain to put his torn sneakers in the family shoe area. Joining Ali in putting running shoes on, Majidi wonderfully skips over Sport movie clichés by keeping Ali's contest firmly linked to the family troubles that give the film a touchingly poetic final note. Criss-crossing school runs under the noses of their mum and dad, Amir Farrokh Hashemian and Bahare Seddiqi give magnificent performances as Ali and Zahra,thanks to Seddiqi giving Zahra a taut sharpness, whilst Seddiqi gives Ali a nose to the grindstone determination to find some heavenly footwear.
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10/10
A Nutshell Review: Children of Heaven
DICK STEEL5 August 2007
Finally I've gotten my hands on a copy of Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven (not illegally of course, but from the library's collection), and have set aside some time to viewing this much talked about masterpiece. And I couldn't agree more that the film is of great quality. I've often selected titles for my pop to view since he's retired, and have gotten a call from him during a working day that I MUST watch this film. Of course I had to clarify that Jack Neo's Homerun is an adaptation of it, given that he found some similarities in plot, but I must say, any movie is worth its salt if it can move my pops.

There are so many things I like about Children of Heaven, and basically, the children Ali (Amir Farrokh Hashemian) and Zahra (Bahare Seddiqi) who play the siblings, will definitely tug at your heartstrings with their innocence. The story goes that Ali happened to lose his sister's shoes during an errand run, and coming from a poor family, that spells disaster. Not wanting to be punished for it, given that both understand the predicament they're in, and not wanting to trouble their parents with yet another expenditure, they devise an ingenious, somewhat mad hat plan, to share their shoes - Zahra goes to school in Ali's, before running back to exchange them so that Ali could attend his classes. And this leads to many comical moments and accidental scenes that will surely make you go "awww", culminating in an exhilarating foot race which will put you on the edge of your seat.

But the skill here that Majid Majidi possess, is not to sledgehammer these emotions down your throat. Children of Heaven doesn't need to, but has in itself this magic that comes forth through its simple yet meaningful story, and through the strength of both children's acting. I was pretty amazed that both Amir and Bahare have this very charming and natural charisma in fleshing out their characters, their banter being excellent, and at times, without a need for words. Truly, they are the stars of this film, and their abilities will put some established big name actors to shame too. Majid Majidi has created characters that endear, but yet not out- of-reach fictional, as they are easily identifiable given that hey, these are the kind of sibling love, or blood being thicker than water, that almost everyone would have experience, or heard about.

Being my first Majid Majidi movie, I'm definitely piqued to want to watch a whole lot more of his films. The movie has superb production values, and like any other foreign movie, opened my eyes to the cultural and physical landscapes of countries that I've yet to visit. What I liked about it also is its showcase of the family, how both Ali and Zahra show this strength in maturity with their helping around the house, and being sensible, well-liked kids. It justifies the number of awards that it has won in festivals everywhere, and if you haven't watch this, please do. It's definitely highly recommended stuff!
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gentle beauty
Vincentiu1 March 2013
Iranian cinema is source of precious meetings. this film is not an exception. it is fresh, delicate, powerful. its story is basic. acting remains key. slice of ordinary reality, it is a form of poem. about small things. about profound sorrow. a smoke circle and a great science to do a precious picture about childhood corners, poverty, hope, joy, need of sense for existence, subtle form of miracle. the red fishes and sport shoes. a boy and his family. a chance. in fact, show of gentle, admirable beauty. beauty of a soul state. like large sea in evening. like prey. and bitter lesson about force of innocence. Bacheha - Ye aseman is a little more than a film. it is a carpet of silences, looks and running.
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8/10
A beautiful film about childhood sibling love.
=G=13 August 2000
"Children of Heaven" looks at a poor Iranian boy (9)and his quest to be responsible and deserving of the love of his sister (6) by replacing her shoes which he has lost. Demonstrating that less is often more, this sweet film speaks volumes with simple actions, thoughts, and feelings.

God bless the child who's got his own.
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a work of art
Buddy-514 January 2000
The wonderful Iranian film "Children of Heaven" and its companion piece, "The White Balloon", remind one of those great Czechoslovakian films of the 1960's ("The Shop on Main Street," "Loves of a Blonde," etc.) in that they achieve their artistry by providing keenly observed glimpses into the minutiae of everyday life. They also help to humanize a culture often regarded as alien and even incomprehensible to western eyes. Above all, this magnificent film reminds us that real drama comes not in the form of over-plotted special effects-laden extravaganzas, but from films that examine the universal simplicities of life as we all know it. When it is distilled through the eyes of a poet - this is when art is achieved.

"Children of Heaven" has its roots planted firmly in the neorealist tradition. Its simple story echoes not merely the earlier "The White Balloon" but the original Italian classic, "The Bicycle Thief." In this film, young Ali accidentally loses his sister's recently mended shoes; out of this tale of utmost simplicity, the filmmakers take us on a fascinating tour of life in a typical Iranian village and family. As Ali and his sister scheme to overcome this obstacle, the film touches on any number of universal themes: the close ties of siblings united in their common bond of avoiding often irrational parental anger; well meaning, loving parents overwhelmed with the trials of everyday life who are often compelled to act out in ways that seem cruel to the children who adore them; the petty viciousness with which children often strike out at each other, yet, at the same time, the often unexpected kindness and empathy with which they also treat one another. The film manages to keep the audience constantly engrossed in its action without once resorting to even a smidgen of incredibility or melodrama. Beautifully directed, with a superb soundtrack filled with heightened naturalistic noises, it is a film of many-splendored wonders, its lyricism caught in a glimpse of soap bubbles floating around a backyard produced by two children abandoned to their moment of incomprehensible youthful joy, its high drama found in a shoe racing down a city sewer with a desperate young girl in tow.

The actors, children and adults alike, underplay their roles in so naturalistic a fashion that one does not even feel they are performing at all; the film, through them, becomes a magical fabric of life that draws the audience deep into its world.

"Children of Heaven" brilliantly demonstrates that works of art often arise from the observation of the most seemingly mundane concerns of daily life and reminds us that this provides far more drama than all the exploding spaceships, car chases and hyperkinetic melodrama that flood the screen in the guise of entertainment. It certainly shows just how phony, empty and bereft of life most American films are. Don't miss "Children of Heaven"! It is a richly rewarding experience.
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The Innocence of Childhood
Chrysanthepop27 April 2010
With sheer simplicity, passion, innocence and poetry, Majidi tells the story of a brother and his sister in 'Bacheha-Ye Aseman'. Here is another director who uses his film-making element to the minimal (with no special effects, lavish sets, extraordinary action scenes etc) and can create something so magnificent. Simply put, 'Bacheha-Ye Aseman' is a slice of life. Majidi is such a sincere and passionate storyteller that he easily captures reality in his films. His shots are simplistic yet detailed enough. The backdrop of poverty, the ravishing natural landscape and the city wonderfully juxtapose each other. The score flows brilliantly with the natural sounds. The pure glimpse of life that the viewer gets of these two siblings is handled with care and tenderness and portrayed effectively. It feels like one is watching these people in real life. Another thing Majidi beautifully demonstrates is how middle class people cherish the simple moments while others take them for granted. Little Ali only wants to make third place in the race (he doesn't want 1st or 2nd) just so that he can get his sister a new pair of shoes to replace the ones he had lost. There's another wonderful scene that shows what a mere smile on a parent's face can do for a child. Majidi has tackled such daily themes with élan. The entire cast, especially child actors, Mohammad Amir Naji and Bahare Seddiqi, perform outstandingly. Majidi has done an incredible job in extracting natural performances from these two young actors. It easily ranks among the finest examples of acting by children. 'Bacheha-Ye Aseman' is a unique cinematic experience. It's a treat to watch and an enchanting cinematic gem.
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8/10
Very Talented Filmmaking!
g-bodyl2 August 2014
Children of Heaven, which is Iran's selection for best foreign film at the Academy Awards, is a very good movie mainly because anyone in this world can relate to the topic of family and showing love to each other no matter the living circumstances. As an Iranian film, it is definitely played safe but a film with such an universal theme and elegantly told as here should really not be missed, especially by movie-lovers.

Majid Majidi's film is about a young boy named Ali who accidentally lost his sister Zahra's shoes. But their family can ill afford to buy new shoes, Ali decides to share his shoes with his sister until he can get new ones for her and so he can avoid punishment.

The acting is pretty good, and pretty heartfelt. There is no questioning the chemistry between Amir Farrokh Hashemian as Ali and Bahare Seddiqi as Zahra. Reza Naji who plays as their father is also good as the man who is trying to do all he can to provide food for his family.

Overall, Children of Heaven is a simple film but it displays a strong message about the bond of family. There are some talented films from the Middle East and this is one of them. It's a strong film about courage and about doing what's right. My favorite scene is where the father and the son leave their poor slums as they head uptown to the rich neighborhoods. This film shows how American kids are vastly different than kids from these parts of the world.....and not exactly in a good way. This film is a little too simple for me, but there is no denying how powerful this film is. I rate this film 8/10.
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A Masterwork Of Heartfelt Grace, Endless Warmth & Soulful Compassion.
CinemaClown22 March 2017
A masterwork of heartfelt grace, endless warmth & soulful compassion, Children of Heaven is an affectionately crafted, tenderly structured & wonderfully performed coming-of-age drama that not only paints a beautifully evocative portrait of siblings relationship but also offers a very captivating glimpse into the lives of lower-class Persian society.

Set in an impoverished neighbourhood in Tehran, Children of Heaven concerns a young boy whose routine is thrown off-balance after he misplaces a pair of shoes that belonged to his sister. Promising to make up for the loss and requesting her to not mention the incident to their parents, the two devise a scheme to solve the problems on their own in the meantime.

Written & directed by Majid Majidi, the film features a very simple premise which is then brought to life in a very humane & humble manner. Despite the poor neighbourhood setting, the story doesn't have an ounce of cynicism in it, for all Majidi is concerned with is illustrating the siblings bonding & their shared predicament after the shoes go missing. It's pure, kind-hearted & delightfully sweet.

Set pieces are kept to a minimum, plot is firmly rooted in reality, and there is a very naturalistic feel to how its events unfold. The two kids play their part very convincingly and are finely supported by the rest of the cast. Pacing is steady throughout its runtime, and keeps its childhood spirit alive till the very end. And its blissful tone & adorable quality is further amplified by its mesmerising score.

On an overall scale, Children of Heaven is an exquisite, nostalgic & intimate cinema that captures the essence of childhood in full-fledged fashion and brims with heartwarming themes that reflect the goodness in humanity. An adorable, innocent & refreshing delight that begins on an arresting note and culminates on an emotional high, this Persian gem is absolutely worth your time & money. Thoroughly recommended.
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10/10
Great
jack_o_hasanov_imdb27 August 2021
I watched it again that day. Great movie, great drama.
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9/10
Great family movie
85122229 June 2016
Greetings from Lithuania.

"Children of Heaven" (1997) is a very economically told pure and simple story. I was genuinely caught into this movie from it's opening shot till the very last end. This is superbly paced and involving movie, which at running time 1 h 25 min. isn't to short nor it is too long - it's length and pacing are excellent. Acting was very good and natural by all involved, especially by children who portrayed young brother and sister. The story as the movie itself are very warm.

Overall, "Children of Heaven" is a superb movie for all family who's best evening with a movie isn't bunch of popcorn and some Marvel flick. This is a very warm and charming movie that will definitely win you over. Great movie for whole family.
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10/10
Wonderful Acting by the kids!
nairtejas21 October 2012
The simplistic plot does the work. And the two child characters - their work is speechless. We may all ask ourselves that how can they act so precisely and naturally without a single flaw?

The story goes perfectly till the end, yet there are some questions which go unanswered. Truly an Oscar material!

The director's point of view is also appreciated with all the requisite factors being mentioned. Life lessons can be learned watching this movie where there is no melodrama like in today's cinema!

Should be added to - the movies to watch before you die!

A must watch!
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7/10
Excellent in its simplicity
paulclaassen6 October 2019
'Children of Heaven' is a film about shoes. Yup, shoes! The film has such a simple premise, but it is so well done and touches on various humanitarian aspects within this simple story.

The film is about the consequences of a boy losing his sister's shoes - how it affects the children, and that will ultimately also lead to self-discovery. The acting is so natural that the story is believable in its entirety. Mohammad Amir Naji plays a father who tries everything is his power to support his family, while his wife is sick and unable to work. They are poor and can just barely keep their head above water, and there is no money to buy new shoes. The child actors are so brilliant, it really is a shame none of them pursued acting.
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8/10
Straightforward and tender-hearted
briancham19949 March 2021
This film is a straightforward, simple story that tugs on your heartstrings. It has a very innocent portrayal of childhood but never veers into sentimentality. The brother and sister, played by talented actors, have an unbreakable bond. Oh yes, they fight, but they do love each other and want the best for each other. Their parents are in a similar situation as they are economically desperate but they are trying their best to make a good life. The scene with Ali trying to find work for his father was especially moving and shows their dire circumstances without succumbing to despair or angst. The payoff later in the film is very satisfying. We really feel for these children, both their ups and downs. A terrific film overall.
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8/10
A pair of shoes...
Thanos_Alfie6 March 2021
"Children of Heaven" is a Drama - Family movie in which we watch a young boy going through many adventures to retrieve his sister's pair of shoes. After he understands that he cannot, he has to find a new way in order to obtain a new one.

I liked this movie very much because despite its simple plot it was very interesting and emotional. The interpretations of the cast were simply amazing and I believe that was the main reason why I enjoyed this movie. The direction which was made by Majid Majidi who is also the writer of it, it was very good and I liked the way he presented his main characters, their stories as well as their dreams. Lastly, I have to say that "Children of Heaven" is an amazing movie and I highly recommend everyone to watch it because I am sure that everybody can learn something by it.
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9/10
Among the Greatest Child Centric Films Ever. A Heavenly Experience and Great Work Of Art.
SAMTHEBESTEST1 July 2020
Children Of Heaven (1997) : Brief Review -

Among the Greatest Child Centric Films Ever. A Heavenly Experience and Great Work Of Art. Wow is the word if it needs to be told in just one word. Majid Majidi makes something that will never fade away from my memory and i will always remember his name for this heavenly artistic and innocently allegorical film made in most simple way possible. Children Of Heaven is brilliant writing no doubts but storytelling and crafting is even better. Even better than Brilliant i said, if you know what i mean. Have you believed in 'Something simply good is better than anything else' term? Well, i started believing so after watching this film. How can a child centric film be so perfect when we always shout that no film is perfect and it is just about going close to the perfection. But i really don't have anything that can be called not perfect in this film and believe me this is coming for a children's film. Oh My God. Classic and Masterpiece are Verdicts we give to films but 'Nothing is more beautiful than a film which makes you Cry with a grin smile on your face'. That's exactly what Children Of Heaven did to me. I was snobbing and yet had a grin smile on my face because i was connected to thier world, i could feel their world, i literally lived in thier world for 96 minutes. It is a story of poor family which includes a ill mother, a hardworking father, an intelligent and kind little boy and a cute little girl. A pair of sneakers which was bought for a girl is misplaced by a boy and they use his same old pair of sneakers alternatively. The film is about thier struggle, love and sacrifices but you know it that one can't get something above fortune and before time. Their struggle is inspiring but thier sacrifices are unmatchable. The writing is Top notch, you can't just praise and applaud one scene, you have to notice and adore so many scenes. The climax scene when the boy comes first in the race and still feel upset, he doesn't even smile for a photograph that frame that face is not fading away from my mind. The next scene is pure work of art as we see the boy coming home with no smile on his face, he just seats and puts his feet in water and fishes come to indulge him, that background score is so mesmerizing. There are many more scenes in the film and i will remember all of them for a long time (i don't want to spoil them here). Child actors in this film are so good, i mean how can they be so good? I understand Natural acting but this was something which put adult actors on shame. Screenplay, cinematography, dialogues, background score and direction everything is so simple yet Artistic. I haven't seen any film (especially in children oriented genre) with such a simple flow making highly intelligent cinematic proportions. Majid Majidi deserves a salute for this unforgettable childhood ride. The more i say won't be enough so i guess let me put it in one sentence, Children Of Heaven justifies it's title because it indeed feels like a 'Heaven of Children'. Whether you are smart movie buff or not just don't miss this MASTERPIECE !

RATING - 9/10*

By - #samthebestest
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7/10
Approaches a fairy tale
Vartiainen16 December 2019
Children of Heaven is a story about a family in Iran. The son of the family, Ali (Amir Farrokh Hashemian), manages to lose his sister's pink shoes due to an honest mistake. Unfortunately their family is very poor and their father cannot afford new shoes. Which is why the two kids go out of their way to hide the fact the shoes have been lost, while searching for ways to get them back or to purchase new ones.

It's a sweet story, no doubt about it. The two actors playing the children are very convincing and you definitely buy the sibling bond between them. I also like how humane they are. They act selfishly every now and then, but they also go to great lengths for their family in a way that feels real and believable.

The film is also a fascinating glimpse into a culture. The Iranian life is displayed fully in front of your eyes, with all its quirks and oddities. This film is a fine example of why you should watch movies that are not made in your country or even in your cultural stratosphere.

All that being said, the film is a bit of a slow burner. Especially the first act. Once you get into the groove of it and get used to how the story is told, it's fine, but the first half an hour or so feels like forever.

Still, very good film. Sweet, innocent, optimistic and thoughtful. Recommended.
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9/10
Beautiful story
billcr1214 May 2012
Ali is sent to pick up his sister's shoes from a repair shop and when he puts them down while at a produce stand, a garbage man picks them up and throws them away. The boy frantically searches for the shoes with no luck, and so he asks his sibling, Zahra, not to tell their parent's because they are very poor, even being several months behind in their rent.

The kids devise a scheme to share Ali's pair of Converse, with the two alternating school classes between mornings and afternoons. He is late because of the trade off in an alley and his principal warns him to be on time.

Ali's father, desperate for money, takes his son along with gardening tools to a wealthy neighborhood, looking for work. They find a mansion and the owner's grandson plays with Ali as his father landscapes. On their way home, they fall off their bike and are slightly injured.

Ali hears of a race with one of the prizes being a new pair of sneakers, so he decides to run in order to win the footwear for his sister. The ending is charming and so are the the two kids who play the brother and sister. Children of Heaven is proof that a big budget is not needed to make a great film.
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8/10
Delightful
valleyjohn21 August 2021
Children of Heaven is the first Iranian film to receive nomination for an Academy Award (Best Foreign Language Film of the Year) and That nomination was totally deserved in my opinion .

Zahra's shoes are gone. Her older brother Ali lost them. They are poor, there are no shoes for Zahra until they come up with an idea: they will share one pair of shoes.

This is a delightful film. A simple story about siblings sharing a pair of shoes and the brother desperately wanting to do best for his sister .

The poverty is palpable but these people are used to it and deal with it their own way .

The acting from the two children is fantastic , especially the emotional scenes . The eyes of Ali say everything when he cries . He almost has puppy dog eyes and it's quite heartbreaking.

This film opens the door to a world we are not used to seeing and I found it a lovely watch.
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10/10
beautiful cinema
Takethispunch4 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The film starts with Ali fetching his little sister Zahra's pink shoes after a cobbler has repaired them. He leaves them unattended to buy some potatoes. While he is pre-occupied, a homeless man picks up the shoes, hidden in a bag, thinking it was garbage and takes them away. Frantic to find them, the young boy thinking the shoes fell behind the crates knocks over plates of vegetables and is chased away by the grocer.

Ali's family lives in a poor South Tehran neighbourhood, and are having financial trouble, so he fears to tell his parents about the mishap. The landlord argues with Ali's mother because she is five months behind on the rent, and the grocer has not been paid in a while either. Ali tells Zahra about the shoes and begs her not to tell their mother; she agrees. That night, Ali's father scolds him for not helping his ill mother when she asked. While the siblings were doing their homework, they passed notes to each other discussing what to do. They devise a scheme to share Ali's Converse sneakers: Zahra will wear them to school in the morning and return them to Ali at midday so he can attend afternoon classes. Ali does well on a test and his teacher awards him a gold-colored pen with the others in his class that got good grades; he gives it to Zahra to partially make up for losing her shoes. However, the uncomfortable arrangement between him and his sister leads to Ali being late three times in a row, no matter how hard he runs; the first time the principal ignores him, the second time he gives him a warning, the third time he tells Ali to leave and return with his father who is at work trying to make money. Ali's teacher noticing Ali's tears persuades the principal that Ali is at the top of his class and to give the boy one more chance and let him back into class.
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