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Children of Heaven(بچه‌های آسمان)

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Iran · 1997
Rated PG · 1h 29m
Director Majid Majidi
Starring Reza Naji, Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi, Nafise Jafar-Mohammadi
Genre Drama, Family

Young Ali lives in a poor neighborhood in Tehran with his sister, Zahra, his struggling father, and his ailing mother. When he loses Zahra’s only pair of shoes, the two devise a plan to keep it a secret from their already burdened parents, by swapping the one remaining pair.

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What are critics saying?


The A.V. Club by

Majidi masterfully balances the serious subtext with entertaining vignettes.


The New York Times by Janet Maslin

In Children of Heaven, life is sweet despite countless hardships, and no reality beyond the economic intrudes upon a fairy tale atmosphere. Only through heavy-handed emphasis does the quest for new sneakers take on any greater meaning.


Chicago Reader by Lisa Alspector

One problem leads to another, but because the children's points of view are so powerfully rendered, the plot of this elegant and lightly magical-realist 1997 drama never seems merely coincidental.


Austin Chronicle by Marjorie Baumgarten

The poverty that is at the heart of the situation is in prominent relief, yet there is a happiness about their lives that defies sheer gloss. Here is a brother and sister who truly love each other and are bonded by their complicity.


Village Voice by Michael Atkinson

Clumsily staged (a bike accident any 15-year-old Super-8 maven could’ve cut better), lit like a soap opera, and acted with all the bribed relish of a peanut butter commercial, Majidi’s movie is merely the simplistic bid being made by every national industry impatient for mass audience attention. Gallingly, it may succeed.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

This is a pellucid and gentle film, made with the simplicity and grace of a children's tale and yet its humour, emotional clarity and directness speak directly to adults and children alike - and the pre-teen principals shoulder an adult burden of performance.


San Francisco Chronicle by Peter Stack

Haunting in its charm, Children of Heaven opens a window on both contemporary Tehran and the hopeful heart of childhood. This lovely, amusing film deserves a big audience -- especially families. It touches on the innocence of children with tremendous affection.

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