A brother and sister growing up in a poor area of Tehran strike a deal rather than own up to their parents that the girl's lone pair of shoes have been lost during an errand.


4.5
The children are too good to be true, but the humanism of this work shines through.

In Majid Majidi`s Children of Heaven a world of deep humanism is explored as young Ali pays the price for accidentally losing his sister`s only pair of shoes. His family is poor, five months behind in the rent, his mother sick. Both he and his sister Zahra know a new pair of shoes is out of the question. She wears his sneakers to morning school and they swap them in the street so he can go to school in the afternoon. There`s a quiet desperation in their attempts to deal with the situation...This is the most exquisite film, the children give such soulful and insightful performances... Mir Farrokh Hashemian as Ali and Bahare Seddiqi as Zahra... they are so beautiful. The daily life in the poor sector of Tehran, a trip to the richer north of the city gives texture to this simple tale. It`s to writer/director Majid Majidi`s credit that he brings such richness to it. Perhaps he wrings a bit too much out of the race in which Ali tries to win a pair of sneakers for his sister, and perhaps the children are just too good to be true, but the humanism of this work shines through... David`s comments: It`s amazing the way Iranian filmmakers consistently get wonderfully natural performances from untrained child actors - and the vivid portrait here of the way a seemingly trivial incident - the loss of a pair of shoes - can profoundly effect the lives of a family is impressive. Scenes like the one in which the little girl pursues her sneaker as it disappears along the open drain, or the father`s bicycle goes out of control are almost worthy of Hitchcock in their sheer suspense.