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Iran, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Journey to Iran)

Director: Majid Majidi

On his way home from running errands, Ali, a school­boy from a poor family, loses his sister Zahra's newly repaired shoes. Concerned that his parents will berate him, he calls on Zahra to help keep the incident a secret. An elaborate shoe sharing system—involving after school sprints, angry teachers and tears of frustra­tion—stretches the children to breaking point. At the point of giving up, Ali hits upon a risky scheme to win his sister new shoes.

Children ol Heaven is no exception to the pattern set in Majidi's filmmaking: a focus on either youth or particularly vulnerable members of Iranian society, addressing pertinent social issues whilst keeping a close eye on the personal within the political. The film's strength lies not only in its perceptive exploration of dig­nity, but in its understanding of human behaviour. This modern masterpiece of Iranian cinema was awarded the top prize at Ihe 15th Fajr Film Festival in Tehran, as well as Besl Picture at the 1998 Montreal Film Festival.

See also...


Beautiful in its simplicity and unfolding visual poetry, Academy Award nominee Majid Majidi's morality tale, The Willow Tree, challenges us to wrestle with our most primal fears and visceral desires ... More »


The Colour of Paradise is another milestone in Iranian cinema's impressive tradition of films dealing with children. Vibrant cinematography and natural performances ensure a festival highlight. It is ... More »


The films of Majid Majidi - including Children of Heaven (1999) and The Colour of Paradise (2000) - have captivated MIFF audiences. With Baran, a stand out film at Rotterdam, Toronto and New York ... More »


In the poor south of Teheran, two young girls have spent the first 12 years of life locked up in their home. After several families in the street write to the Social Services to denounce their ... More »


Dance of Dust is an evocative study of the almost unbe­lievably harsh life of Ilia, a boy living in a desolate rural backwater. Eking out a living working in a brick kiln, Ilia is haunted by ... More »


The latest project from veteran Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui is a contemporary fable about the redemptive power of the spirit. Mahmud (Homayun Eskandari) is a middle-aged poet and writer who ... More »

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