Majidi’s Children of Heaven: A child’s lost shoe becomes a moving story 3


Children of heaven

Year: 1997

Writer: Majid Majidi

Director: Majid Majidi

Category: Foreign

Rating: 5 out of 5

children of heaven

Children of Heaven is a product of Iran’s movie revolution. Ali goes to get his sister’s shoe cobbled and looses it on the way back. He’s too scared to tell this to his parents since they are too poor to buy another pair immediately. He convinces his sister to keep it from the parents and shares his sneakers with her. But this is not easy since his school starts immediately after her school ends and the children run to and from school to make sure he can reach his class on time. At one point Ali sees a notice about a running race where the third prize is a sneaker. The movie ends with his winning the race and ends up crying since he did not come third!

It takes a great writer and director to take a movie with such a simple theme lost shoes! – and without much doubt, Majid Majidi is one of the greatest directors of the current generation. The ability of Iranian’s to make movies with children is completely fascinating. The expressions are so completely natural that it could just have been a voyeur camera that shot the entire movie in real life. This certain comes out of the great attention to detail that Majidi and his team are capable of. Ali’s twitching the wall as he waits impatiently for his sister, Zorhe’s fondling of the pencil she got as a pacificatory gift, etc. could almost go unnoticed to the ‘naked eye’. The movie is so rich in details that the cumulative impact of it is staggering. The director takes us through pangs of joy and sorrow with mundane events in the children’s lives by careful orchestration of details.


Children of Heaven is a movie for any season and any mood. It is one of those movies that is a collector’s item that could be watched again and again. It is one of the finest products of Iran’s movie revolution.

My detailed reviews of movies can be found here and to see my ratings for various movies and short reviews, click here.

Liked children of heaven? You’ll love Shwaas

It takes a great writer and director to take a movie with such a simple theme lost shoes! – and without much doubt, Majid Majidi is one of the greatest directors of the current generation. The ability of Iranian’s to make movies with children is completely fascinating. The expressions are so completely natural that it could just have been a voyeur camera that shot the entire movie in real life. This certain comes out of the great attention to detail that Majidi and his team are capable of. Ali’s twitching the wall as he waits impatiently for his sister, Zorhe’s fondling of the pencil she got as a pacificatory gift, etc. could almost go unnoticed to the ‘naked eye’. The movie is so rich in details that the cumulative impact of it is staggering. The director takes us through pangs of joy and sorrow with mundane events in the children’s lives by careful orchestration of details.

Children of Heaven is a movie for any season and any mood. It is one of those movies that is a collector’s item that could be watched again and again. It is one of the finest products of Iran’s movie revolution.

My detailed reviews of movies can be found here and to see my ratings for various movies and short reviews, click here.

About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.


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