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Sun Children(خورشید)

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Iran · 2021
1h 39m
Director Majid Majidi
Starring Ali Nasirian, Javad Ezzati, Tannaz Tabatabaei, Roohollah Zamani
Genre Drama

The film follows four children, including 12-year-old Ali, who are forced into child labor and petty crime to survive and support their families. Ali discovers the location of a treasure, but in order to gain access to the location, Ali must enroll at the Sun School, an institution that educates street children and child laborers.

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What are critics saying?


The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

Though Sun Children lacks the visual lushness and poetry that made Children of Heaven so seductive, its condemnation of child labor and the inaccessibility of basic education to the poor comes across with great force.


The New York Times by Devika Girish

Majid Majidi’s latest feature doesn’t lack in style or charm, using a child’s perspective — a staple in Iranian cinema — to locate beauty and hope in a cynical world. As is often the case with the director’s work, however, precious visuals come at the cost of narrative complexity.


Austin Chronicle by Jenny Nulf

Maijidi’s latest was Iran’s submission for the most recent Oscars, a film that’s gentle, packed with all the familiar beats you find in these City of God-like child POV gritty fairy tales.


Screen Daily by Lee Marshall

Its old-school charm shades into tired plotting more than once, and the moral lesson concealed in the film’s central story about a gang of tykes’ search for buried treasure can feel a little preachy.


Variety by Peter Debruge

If one intention of Sun Children is to remind that all kids are created equal, deserving of education and encouragement, Majidi’s young ensemble makes the case loud and clear.


The A.V. Club by Roxana Hadadi

A tidal wave of compassion and empathy that crests into rage and sorrow—all of it provoked by the plight of Iran’s child laborers.


Slant Magazine by Wes Greene

The film tends toward the dramatically monotonous, but its unwavering sense of purpose ensures that it’s also compellingly human.


The Guardian by Xan Brooks

Energetic and heartfelt, tipping towards tragedy, Sun Children crawls through the mud and emerges all the stronger. The quest is a red herring; the real treasure is the film.

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