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Bacheha-ye Aseman (1997)

Comedy | 89 minutes
3,69 126 votes

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Duration: 89 minuten

Alternative titles: The Children of Heaven / De Schoenen van Zahra / بچه هاي آسمان

Country: Iran

Directed by: Majid Majidi

Stars: Amir Farrokh Hashemian and Bahare Seddiqi

IMDb score: 8,2 (81.310)

Releasedate: 1 August 1997

Bacheha-ye Aseman plot

"A Little Secret... Their Biggest Adventure!"

Film about Ali, a nine-year-old boy and his sister Zahra. Ali loses his sister Zahra's newly repaired shoes on the way home. He doesn't dare say that at home. He agrees with Zahra that they will keep it a secret from their parents and that she will wear his shoes to school. At school this causes some problems. Suddenly Zahra sees a girl walking in her shoes and together with Ali she chases her. She sees that the girl is even poorer at home than Ali and Zahra, so they don't dare to ask for the shoes back. Then Ali hears of a running race. Whoever finishes third gets a pair of sneakers.

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avatar van BBarbie


  • 12893 messages
  • 7675 votes

Is there such a thing as a “feel good drama”? This is how I would characterize this film, which is about the dramatic consequences of the loss of a pair of virtually worn-out shoes on two small children from a poor family. Not only the impact of this incident, but also the effects of their natural solidarity can be read on the children's faces from beginning to end. That connection provides a good feeling as a counterbalance to the drama.

It is especially the children who - with their casual and unaffected presence - do not leave you indifferent as a spectator. The infectious facial expressions of Bahare Seddiqi as the little sister Zahra regularly made me melt. But Mir Farrokh Hashemian as her unfortunate brother Ali also made a deep impression on me. In my commentary on the beautiful film Darbareye Elly (About Elly) I once remarked: “This is just acting, people”. That comment applies equally to this film.

Filmmaker Majidi also deserves a big compliment, because he manages to keep the focus on the central theme (mutual bond in the midst of poverty) and he never lets the tone of the film become sentimental.

I already have two films from Iran in my top 10, but this one actually belongs there too. Because it is truly a gem.

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avatar van arno74


  • 8700 messages
  • 3342 votes

My second Iranian film, with which the country retains its place in my opinion as the highest rated film country with an average of 4.5*, who would have thought that. Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (2007) is the other Iranian film I have seen, also starring children. That film is good as social cinema, this one is because of its high cinematic quality. And Le Passé (2013), by an Iranian director, is also worth mentioning.

Where other films flopped because of the wafer-thin story, this film manages to captivate with its simplicity. Once again a director proves that you can make a good film with a low budget, and that you don't need a complicated plot for that. The cinematography is strong, the entire film radiates a wonderful tranquility, and the bond between brother and sister comes straight into the living room, and with hardly any dialogue. A little gem indeed.

In terms of atmosphere and style you can compare it with The Spirit of the Beehive (1973), it has a lot in common with that (cinematographic, simplicity, style, chemistry, children in the leading role, tranquility, few dialogues, atmosphere, etc.). Given the many similarities, I wonder whether Majid Majidi is not the Iranian counterpart of the Spanish director Víctor Erice. In any case, I have become curious about the rest of his oeuvre.

This film also has a 'sequel' (by another director): Hayat / Children of Heaven 2 (2005) - Filmaffinity.com .


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avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8635 messages
  • 4835 votes

I expected more from this. I did have some difficulty with the authenticity of the film. It all seemed a bit too forced to me. Some drippy eyes, preferably in close-up, all quite sentimental. I also found the children's acting quite unnatural. Well, you can't blame them for that of course. They weren't really actors, but still, the experience was different for me.

Sad in terms of content. A lot of hassle for a pair of shoes, but it is often a bitter reality for people from third world countries. An interesting story, that's for sure, although I mainly had difficulty with the way it was sometimes presented. Now take that shoe that disappeared into the gutter. That girl just missed the shoe every time. If she had just walked a meter further...

The ending is one of those typical feel good. And that was further accentuated by the fact that he was initially not allowed to participate. Then a lot of focus on his toil during the match. Isn't he going to be put down, especially by an unsportsmanlike opponent? And then in the end, when the calf had actually drowned, he still achieved victory in a heroic way. Bah!

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