How to Enjoy Children of Heaven in 720p BluRay Quality Online
Children of Heaven: A Heartwarming Iranian Film
If you are looking for a film that will touch your heart and make you appreciate the simple things in life, you should watch Children of Heaven. This is a 1997 Iranian family drama film written and directed by Majid Majidi. It tells the story of a brother and sister who go on a series of adventures over a lost pair of shoes. It is a film that celebrates the love, courage, and resilience of children in the face of hardship.
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What is Children of Heaven about?
Children of Heaven follows the lives of Ali and Zahra, two siblings who live in a poor neighborhood in South Tehran. One day, Ali takes his sister's pink shoes to the shoemaker to be repaired, but loses them on the way home. He fears to tell his parents, who have no money to buy a new pair. He decides to share his own sneakers with Zahra, who wears them to school in the morning and returns them to him at midday so he can attend afternoon classes. This arrangement leads to many challenges and adventures for the children, as they try to hide their secret from their parents and teachers, do their homework and chores, and find a way to get new shoes for Zahra.
Who are the main characters and actors?
The main characters of Children of Heaven are:
Ali, played by Amir Farrokh Hashemian. He is a nine-year-old boy who loves his sister and wants to make her happy. He is smart, brave, and loyal.
Zahra, played by Bahare Seddiqi. She is a six-year-old girl who adores her brother and trusts him. She is sweet, innocent, and optimistic.
Their father, played by Mohammad Amir Naji. He is a hardworking man who does gardening jobs for wealthy people. He cares for his family but struggles to make ends meet.
Their mother, played by Fereshte Sarabandi. She is a loving woman who suffers from an illness. She tries to support her husband and children but worries about their future.
Roya, played by Dariush Mokhtari. She is a girl from Zahra's school who wears her lost shoes. She becomes Zahra's friend and reveals that her father is blind.
Why is Children of Heaven a remarkable film?
Children of Heaven is a remarkable film for many reasons. First, it shows the beauty and richness of Iranian culture, such as the language, music, food, clothing, religion, and customs. It also portrays the diversity and contrast between different social classes in Iran, such as the urban poor and the suburban rich. Second, it depicts the reality and challenges of poverty, such as lack of education, health care, housing, and opportunities. It also highlights the dignity and resilience of people who face poverty with honesty, kindness, and hope. Third, it explores the universal themes of family, friendship, love, sacrifice, compassion, and justice. It also evokes the emotions and imagination of children, such as joy, curiosity, fear, anger, sadness, and wonder.
How Ali loses Zahra's shoes
The film begins with Ali fetching his sister's pink shoes after a cobbler has repaired them. While buying potatoes at a market stall, he leaves the shoes hidden in a bag outside among the vegetables. A homeless man unknowingly picks up the bag, thinking it is garbage. Ali searches for the shoes but cannot find them. He runs home in panic.
How Ali and Zahra share one pair of shoes
Ali tells Zahra what happened and begs her not to tell their mother. She agrees but asks him how she will go to school without shoes. They decide to share Ali's sneakers until they can get new ones for Zahra. They make a plan: Zahra will wear them to school in the morning and run back home at noon to give them to Ali so he can go to his afternoon classes. They also pass notes to each other at night to communicate their problems and solutions.
Their plan works for a while but soon causes trouble for both of them. Zahra has to wake up early and rush to school before anyone notices her shoes. She also has to avoid getting dirty or wet on her way back home. Ali has to wait for Zahra every day at a nearby alley and run to his school before the gate closes. He also has to endure the teasing of his classmates who mock his sneakers.
Their situation worsens when their teachers notice their tardiness and absence. Zahra's teacher warns her that she will be expelled if she misses another day. Ali's teacher scolds him for being late three times in a row and orders him to bring his father to school. Ali cries but his teacher convinces the principal to give him another chance because he is a bright student.
How Zahra finds her shoes on another girl's feet
One day, Zahra notices her missing pink shoes on another student's feet. She follows her after class and discovers that her name is Roya and that she lives nearby. She also sees that Roya's father is blind and that they are poor too.
Zahra tells Ali about Roya and they decide to confront her together. However, when they see Roya playing with her father in their yard, they change their minds and leave without saying anything.
Zahra becomes friends with Roya at school and learns that she got her shoes from a charity organization that gives clothes to needy children. Roya also tells Zahra that her father promised to buy her new shoes if she does well in her exams.
How Ali enters a race to win a new pair of shoes
Ali hears about a children's footrace that offers prizes for the winners. He decides to enter the race hoping to win the third prize which is a new pair of sneakers for boys or girls.
He trains hard for the race with his friend Mohammad Reza who lends him his old running shoes. He also asks his father for permission to participate in the race which coincides with his gardening work day.
The race day arrives and Ali joins hundreds of other boys at the starting line. He runs fast but faces many obstacles along the way such as dust storms, traffic jams, water puddles, and rival runners.
How Ali and Zahra cope with disappointment and hope
To everyone's surprise, Ali crosses the finish line first ahead of all other runners. He wins the first prize which is an invitation to join an athletic camp in another city.
Ali is disappointed because he wanted the third prize which was given to another boy who came third after him. He tries to exchange his prize with him but he refuses. Ali cries but accepts his fate.
Zahra waits anxiously for Ali at home hoping that he will bring her new shoes. She sees him coming back with nothing but tears in his eyes. She realizes that he failed but hugs him anyway. She tells him that she loves him more than anything else.
The film ends with a shot of their father's bicycle outside their house. On it are two bags containing what appear to be new shoes for both Ali and Zahra. Themes and Messages
The bond between siblings
One of the main themes of Children of Heaven is the bond between siblings. Ali and Zahra share a deep and unconditional love for each other. They support each other through thick and thin, even when they have to sacrifice their own comfort and happiness. They communicate with each other through notes, gestures, and looks. They also have fun together, playing games, telling stories, and making jokes. They are each other's best friends and confidants.
The struggle of poverty and dignity
Another theme of Children of Heaven is the struggle of poverty and dignity. Ali and Zahra live in a poor neighborhood where they face many difficulties and dangers. They lack basic necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and education. They also suffer from social stigma and discrimination from their peers and authorities. However, they do not lose their dignity and self-respect. They work hard, study well, help their parents, and obey their elders. They also show honesty, generosity, and gratitude to others. They do not beg or steal, but rather try to earn or win what they need.
The contrast between rich and poor
A third theme of Children of Heaven is the contrast between rich and poor. The film shows the stark difference between the lives of Ali and Zahra and those of the wealthy people they encounter. The rich live in luxurious houses with gardens, cars, servants, and pets. They have access to quality education, health care, entertainment, and leisure. They wear fashionable clothes, shoes, and accessories. They also have more choices, opportunities, and freedoms. The poor live in crowded slums with dirt roads, garbage dumps, and stray animals. They have limited access to basic services, facilities, and resources. They wear old clothes, shoes, and scarves. They also have fewer options, chances, and rights.
The value of honesty and kindness
A fourth theme of Children of Heaven is the value of honesty and kindness. The film shows how honesty and kindness can make a difference in people's lives. Ali and Zahra are honest with each other and with their parents. They do not lie or cheat to get what they want. They also show kindness to others who are in need or trouble. They help their father with his gardening work, they give their mother a flower for her birthday, they befriend Roya who is lonely, they spare Roya's father who is blind, they share their food with a hungry boy, and they donate their old clothes to a charity organization.
Reception and Awards
How Children of Heaven was received by critics and audiences
Children of Heaven was received with critical acclaim and popular success by critics and audiences around the world. It received positive reviews for its simple yet powerful story, its realistic yet poetic portrayal of Iranian culture, its authentic yet universal depiction of childhood, its natural yet expressive performance of the actors, and its subtle yet moving direction of Majid Majidi.
The film also became a box office hit in Iran and abroad. It grossed over $1.6 million in the United States alone, making it one of the highest-grossing foreign language films in American history. It also attracted millions of viewers in other countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and India.
How Children of Heaven was nominated for an Oscar
Children of Heaven was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1998. It was the first Iranian film to receive this honor. It competed with four other films from Brazil, Cuba, Spain, and Italy. The winner was Life Is Beautiful, a comedy-drama film from Italy directed by Roberto Benigni.
The nomination of Children of Heaven for an Oscar brought international recognition and appreciation to Iranian cinema. It also sparked interest and curiosity among Western audiences about Iranian culture and society.
How Children of Heaven influenced other films
Children of Heaven influenced other films that followed its footsteps in terms of style and theme. Some examples are:
The Color of Paradise, a 1999 Iranian film directed by Majid Majidi that tells the story of a blind boy who lives with his father in a rural area.
The White Balloon, a 1995 Iranian film directed by Jafar Panahi that tells the story of a girl who wants to buy a goldfish for the Persian New Year.
The Kite Runner, a 2007 American film directed by Marc Forster that tells the story of two boys who grow up in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion and the Taliban regime.
Slumdog Millionaire, a 2008 British film directed by Danny Boyle that tells the story of a boy who grows up in the slums of Mumbai and participates in a quiz show.
Hugo, a 2011 American film directed by Martin Scorsese that tells the story of a boy who lives in a train station in Paris and discovers the secrets of a filmmaker.
Why Children of Heaven is a must-watch film
Children of Heaven is a must-watch film because it is a masterpiece of Iranian cinema and a gem of world cinema. It is a film that will make you laugh and cry, think and feel, learn and grow. It is a film that will inspire you to appreciate the simple things in life, to overcome the difficult challenges in life, to love the precious people in life, and to hope for the better things in life.
Where to watch Children of Heaven online
If you want to watch Children of Heaven
online, you can find it on various streaming platforms such as:
Amazon Prime Video
$2.99 (rent) or $9.99 (buy)
Persian (original) or English (dubbed)
USA or UK
$2.99 (rent) or $9.99 (buy)
Persian (original) or English (dubbed)
USA or UK
$2.99 (rent) or $9.99 (buy)
Persian (original) or English (dubbed)
Free (with ads)
Persian (original) or Chinese (subtitled)
You can also buy or rent the DVD or Blu-ray of Children of Heaven
from online or offline stores such as:
Here are some frequently asked questions about Children of Heaven:
What is the meaning of the title?The title Children of Heaven refers to Ali and Zahra who are innocent and pure like angels. It also suggests that they will be rewarded in heaven for their good deeds and sufferings on earth.
What is the significance of the shoes?The shoes are a symbol of poverty and dignity. They represent the basic needs and rights of children that are often denied or ignored by society. They also show the contrast between the rich and the poor, as well as the bond between the siblings.
What is the message of the film?The message of the film is that love is stronger than anything else. It is love that motivates Ali and Zahra to overcome their difficulties and to help each other. It is love that inspires them to be honest and kind to others. It is love that gives them hope and joy in life.
Is Children of Heaven based on a true story?No, Children of Heaven is not based on a true story. It is a fictional story created by Majid Majidi who was inspired by his own childhood memories and observations of Iranian society.
Is Children of Heaven suitable for children?Yes, Children of Heaven is suitable for children of all ages. It is a family-friendly film that does not contain any violence, sex, or profanity. It is a film that can teach children about different cultures, values, and emotions.