// Film: Children of Heaven
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Faizah
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« on: Jan 01, 2008 06:07 PM »


As salaamu alaikum

I've been taking some time to sit and watch some dvds (yes, I'm actually relaxing).  Anyway, I just finished watching "Children of Heaven" and wanted to share some of my observations (this is my idea of relaxing, looking at things from from a deeper perspective instead of just watching - someday I'll get away from that).  On the surface it is merely a story of a brother and sister trying to solve a problem on their own without telling their parents.  In this case, the missing shoes and how can they both go to school while sharing one pair and not letting anyone know there is a problem.  This in itself was heartwarming.  Of course I do think that Ali had no choice, afterall it was his moment of carelessness that started the problem.  I seized that opportunity to talk to my own 9 year old son about the importance of paying attention to where he puts things and also how much responsibility Ali had for helping his family so he (my son) should be grateful that I don't ask him to do a lot to help me.

I found it interesting how Ali, in his effort to make sure his sister Zahra didn't tell, he kept giving her small gifts - a new pencil and a click pen.  Makes me wonder how much of that kind of stuff goes on between my own kids....hmmm.

I did note that there were some underlying stories/lessons in this film.  For example, although Zahra was able to find out who had her shoes (Roya) she didn't confront the little girl and once she found out that Roya's father was blind she in essence let the matter rest.  When Zahra dropped the pen Ali gave her and Roya found it, she returned it.  This suggests that if Roya had known that the shoes were Zahra's she would have returned those as well.  How many of us can say that such would happen.

The film also reflected on how what we take for granted, other people cherish.  Again, although the focus was a pair of shoes, it is symbolic I believe of greater things.  But even still if we focus on shoes, I'm sure we all have more than one pair, probably more like half a dozen or more pairs but realistically how many pairs can we wear at one time? And when the pair we wear most often become worn we don't often think of having them repaired, rather we toss them out and get another pair without giving a second thought.  I know I'm guilty of having too many pairs and still find myself sticking to only one or two as my standard wear.

I also found the honesty and integrity of the parents most admirable.  The scene where the father was cutting the sugar that belonged to the mosque and how he explained to Zahra that he couldn't use any of it for his tea because it was entrusted to him but didn't belong to him.  Many would probably figure such an insignificant amount of sugar for one cup of tea wouldn't be missed, but the honest person wouldn't care if no one else knew it was missing; he/she would know.

The foot race at the end was great.  Ali wasn't concerned about winning, he just wanted to be third so he could get the sneakers and exchange them for a pair of shoes for his sister.  Most people would be more concerned with being first.  Finally, the patience the children had while dealing with this issue was in the end rewarded since the father bought a new pair of sneakers for Ali and a new pair of shoes for Zahra, although the film ended before they received them.  This reflects it seems how important patience really is; this is a lesson I need to remember because I know how impatient I can be sometimes when things don't happen when I need them to.

If anyone else has seen this film, I'd be interested in hearing your perspective on it.

As salaamu alaikum

Fa'izah
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 07, 2008 02:43 AM »


It sounded interesting so I did an online search for it.
It say's it's in French with English sub titles?
Is the one you have in French?
I'd love to get it, I see a site where I can buy or rent it.

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« Reply #2 on: Jan 08, 2008 12:42 PM »

The copy I have has a Farsi language track and a French language track with English subtitles. 
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Ya Muqallib Al-Quloob thabbit quloobana ala deenik


« Reply #3 on: Jan 12, 2008 01:39 AM »

As-salaamu alaykum, Faizah!

I loooove this director (actually, my husband found him before I did). He's now on a mission to collect all of his movies, but I have to say, this one and The Color of Paradise are my two favorites. Soo much more to these films than the simplicity it's filmed with. Imagine, a movie with no special effects, having the most beautiful cinematography. Some people like this one better than The Color of Paradise, but the two really don't compare. They both have the same purity, but different messages conveyed.

About the shoe movie: Smiley
You have a pretty good commentary on it, can't add much more to it, except, my parents loved it too. It reminded them of how life was in Pakistan. They think we're spoiled because we haven't had to share shoes with siblings before. Smiley

"My Lord! Increase me in knowledge." (Qur'aan 20.114)
"Our Lord! We believe, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of all who show mercy!" (23:109)
"And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves..."(3:10)
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