Zohre's shoes are gone; her older brother Ali lost them. They are poor, there are no shoes for Zohre until they come up with an idea: they will share one pair of shoes…
Release Year: 1997
Rating: 8.2/10 (10,540 voted)
Stars: Mohammad Amir Naji, Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi
Zohre's shoes are gone; her older brother Ali lost them. They are poor, there are no shoes for Zohre until they come up with an idea: they will share one pair of shoes, Ali's. School awaits. Will the plan succeed?
Mohammad Amir Naji
(as Amir Naji)
Amir Farrokh Hashemian
(as Mir Farrokh Hashemian)
(as Kamal Mir Karimi)
(as Behzad Rafiee)
A Little Secret…Their Biggest Adventure!
Release Date: 22 January 1999
Filming Locations: Tehran, Iran
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $20,100
(24 January 1999)
(23 May 1999)
Did You Know?
Iran's official submission for the Foreign Language Film category of the 71st Academy Awards (1999).
Simple, passionate and beautiful
Bacheha-Ye aseman (Children of Heaven)
It was with some trepidation that I popped this DVD into the player – it
was, after all, my first venture into Iranian cinema, so I was a little
unsure what to expect.
I am used to, and for the most part, enjoy foreign films. They open up an
incredible world of cinema that one would otherwise miss.
After five minutes, it was fairly evident that this film was something a
The story is simple. While at market shopping, Ali loses his sisters
shoes. After desperately trying in vain to find them, he decides that he
his sister will share his sneakers, meeting her after to school each day
recover them from her, in order to get to school himself.
That is pretty much a synopsis of the entire movie. It doesn't end there
This film is played with such beauty and innocence; it is a true pleasure
watch. Mohammad Amir Naji plays Ali with such incredible depth and
one is completely drawn into his plight. From the start of the film, we
the relationship between brother and sister, played with equal warmth by
Bahare Seddiqi, strained as he explains how he lost her shoes. The sorrow
Ali's face, and Zahra's tears at the news, are truly heartbreaking to
The expressions on the faces of the children are so genuine, it is clear
that spending a cinematic hour and half will be a pleasure, albeit not an
We see Ali and his Father looking for work as gardeners. From the outset
is clear that Ali's Father is strict, but it is also evident he loves his
son dearly, and the simple exchange of smiles as they find their first job
is heart-warming, and totally believable.
Cycling through the city, it is very striking that there is a clear
between rich and poor. We are watching a boy, to afraid to tell his father
of the loss of a pair of shoes, riding through streets with billboards
advertising cell phones, into rural areas where houses with swimming
ornate architecture and luxury are rife.
There is so much in Western civilisation that we take for granted. What to
us are simple daily belongings to others is pure decadence. Aside from
anything else, this film is a window into a world so many of us do not
Simple things bring Ali pleasure, blowing bubbles, swinging on swings with
his new found friend, the smiles and laughter of the children is
Later in the film we see Ali enter a race in order to win a pair of brand
new sneakers for his sister. To win them, he must come third. Again we see
the division of wealth, as Ali races through the streets, the thoughts and
images of his sister swirling in his head, and on screen, while at the
time, parents of other children film the race on camcorders, all the time
Ali running, fighting for the shoes he needs so desperately.
The film is directed perfectly, and the credit for this goes to Majid
Majidi, whose films have won acclaim worldwide. There are no special
effects, no luxurious settings. There are times when the film feels like a
documentary in the direction, and that works in its favour. This film
make an excellent introduction into the world of foreign cinema.
the movie, the expressions and emotions displayed by the children speak
louder than any dialogue ever could.
The film is not dialogue intensive, and one could easily watch the film,
understand the story, even without the aid of subtitles. This film was
nominated for an Academy Award, and it not difficult to see
Ignoring for a moment the subtitles and language barriers, since they are
not overly crucial to the film, this is a story of true innocence, and
hard at the heartstrings, sometimes to breaking point. The portrayal of
children is gentle, warm and absolutely believable, and one cannot help
be drawn into this tale, as it gently unwinds. It is sometimes tough to
watch the emotions played out, but ultimately, worth every
Missing this film, particularly if simply put off by the fact it is
language, would a sad deprivation of the senses and the heart. It is not
just a film, it is an experience, and one that is completely passionate,
I truly cannot recommend this highly enough. It is widely available on DVD
or VHS – rent it, borrow it or buy it – you will be glad that you
Reviewed by Ollie