“Children of Heaven” is about a home without unhappiness. About a brother and sister who love one another, instead of fighting. About situations any child can identify with. In this film from Iran, we can find a sweetness and innocence that shames the land of Mutant Turtles, Power Rangers and violent video games.
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 has made an excellent introduction into the world of foreign cinema. Throughout the movie, the expressions and emotions displayed by the children speak far louder than any dialogue ever could.
The film is not dialogue intensive, and one could easily watch the film, and understand the story, even without the aid of subtitles. This film was nominated for an Academy Award, and it not difficult to see why. 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 tugs hard at the heartstrings, sometimes to breaking point. The portrayal of the children is gentle, warm and absolutely believable, and one cannot help but be drawn into this tale, as it gently unwinds. It is sometimes tough to watch the emotions played out, but ultimately, worth every second.