Reviewed by: Richard F. Schmitz
Starring: Mohammad Amir Naji, Fereshte Sarabandi, Karnal Mirkarimi | Director: Majid Majidi
“Children of Heaven,” a.k.a. “Bacheha-Ye aseman” (1997 release) is a wonderful film from Iran. It is directed by Majid Majidi, and he is certainly to be lauded for crafting a wonderful and very special movie. This is not a Christian film per se, but its values are. The characters are unforgettable, and this movie stands out as an appropriate, unoffensive and highly entertaining family film.
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 streetside 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.
“Children of Heaven” reveals a side of Tehran probably quite unexpected by a generation of Americans more accustomed to the stereotype of the wild-looking fanatic.