Movie for the Evening: Feature
Children of Heaven (1997)
What is a movie if not devices to draw the view into the action. The device can be simple as in the “Children of Heaven”, a film by Majid Majidi.
When Ali inadvertently loses his sister’s shoes their possession poor lives are challenged. The movie uses these children’s plight to develop a bond between the view and the actor by bringing us into their world and concerns. Ali’s love for his sister and respect for the family is central to the theme. Why “Children of Heaven”, when the world around them is so unrewarded can be understood by looking into their faces.
The cinematography, clean and guileless, is appropriate for the content of the movie. I particularly enjoy the choices made for the principle actors. Iranian films often use kids to illustrate a dialectic formed between the world we live in but on the contrary hoped for when we were in our childhood. Was it not correct for us to believe that Right alone makes might? But as we are then brought into a world of possessions our simple view gives way to the stratified social world made of haves and have nots.
Ali is a winner however his success is a counterpoint to the theme. There are important lessons to be learned in the devices used in this film that can be applied to all our lives.