Children of Heaven

Thanks to Prasad, saw this wonderful Iranian film last night. The film left the usual thought of why can’t Kollywood or Bollywood make such films. Liked each and every shot of it. The film revolves around two children (a brother and sister aged around 9 and 6) and their poor family. The brother loses his sister’s shoes and the story is about how they deal with the situation.

The typical Iranian household and the way of life in the city (Teheran) suburbs were all colorfully brought out. Young Iranian children in school classrooms and the morning assembly brought back memories of my own childhood. It was nice seeing that there wasn’t anything majorly different.

The shoes are lost and the little girl is very upset. But Ali, the brother tells her of how bad the family situation is, that their father hasn’t got any money, that they both will get beaten up etc – all this while they sit down side by side and the conversation is done by passing on their writing on a notebook. The little girl understands and accepts Ali’s verdict – she will wear his canvas sneakers to school. And Ali gives his new pencil too just to make sure the treaty is held.

There’s a scene where girls are asked to long jump. The little girl stands nervously, feeling very shy because she’s in her brother’s slightly larger shoes. And then when a girl slips, the teacher advises how sneakers are the best ones to wear as they don’t slip like the fancy ladies shoes. The smile in the little girl’s face is beautifully done. There are other scenes like this where the director is able to evoke different emotions from these wonderful children. I liked the way Ali rises his hands and with respect address his master’s queries.

There’s a long distance (4 km) running competition announced. An internal selection in the school where Ali studies is done for selecting 4 or 5 of the fastest in their school to take part in the main competition. Ali isn’t interested at first because of his shoes being shared with his sister, mom being ill etc. But when he sees the shortlisted candidates notice which also lists the prizes, he becomes interested as the third prize is a pair of sneakers. He goes to his PT master, cries, runs fast against his stopclock and gets himself into the shortlist. He vows to his sister that he will come third and give her the new pair of sneakers that he will win.

The competition is a sort of climax to the movie. A bit cliched though with the usual ‘villain pulling hero’s leg, hero falling down but finally going on to win’ situation. But, very wonderfully done. In an interesting twist of fate, Ali gets the first prize and is rather very disappointed. Coming back he faces his sister with a grim face. The smile in the sister’s face vanishes as she sees that he hadn’t brought back the promised sneakers.

Ok, that actually isn’t the end of the movie and you won’t be disappointed about the ending πŸ™‚ The movie will stay etched in my mind for long.

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One Response to “Children of Heaven”

  1. Sagaro Says:

    Hey Arvind, never knew you were into iranian films. BTW, thought you did like to know, we are having a roof top film festival… where we are screening such classics Almadovars, Majieds, Andre Tarkovasky, Bergmens, Stanley Kubricks etc along with films submited by peeps in and around Chennai next month. The organizing is still going on… So if you are interested let me know. will keep you updated on it πŸ™‚

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