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Movie Review of “Children of Heaven” by Majid Majid (1999)

In “Children of Heaven” film, there is one major issue I wish to evaluate in broader perspective; how people deal with poverty issues in low social economic societies. In essence, this film is designed for western audiences who wish to see how the low class population from a third world culture may be going on. Although the film is not much concerned on stirring social activism, it has done much in giving western societies a chance of feeling social issues in other societies.

In “Children of Heaven”, the audience is submerged into factual and serious issues that are plundering third world nations. Through the process, one is able to feel an emotional release through self- reflection. As I see it, children can be effectively used in illustrating various societal concerns in a film such as this one. In addition, the title has been well used to indicate the potential themes that are found in the movie. The title “Children of heaven” does not appear ,or rather is not explained anywhere in the movie, hence this title is only used to make the audience understand the nature of the main actors in the movie. In particular, the label “heaven” makes the audience sympathize with “children of heaven”. In addition, these children also appear innocent and incredibly young, further stirring our emotional sympathies. Moreover, this label appears more sentimental and not substantial, as well as focusing on eliciting emotional sympathies from the viewer. The social struggles, which these children are made to undergo in poverty, further supports the title’s message that the characters belong in “heaven” since despite them being virtuous, nobody seems to come to their aid except their father.

In particular, the family of Zahra and Ali is depicted as being extremely poor. Parents of these children owed many people debts and could not meet their various needs. This is the reason when Zahra lost shoes, she ruled out the question of asking her parents for new shoes, but rather, ventured on a mission of searching for them. In the meantime, Zahra and Ali had to share shoes and kept this a secret among-st themselves. On the other hand, the film also shows how some societies; particularly those of Teheran live extravagantly, while in some other societies, people are extremely poor. In spite of Many Arab countries such as UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Dubai being known for their economic advancement, the film unravel Iran as a country which has still lagged behind economically. Iran has remained to be under-developed since we can still see many poor and illiterate people in the country. Apparently, this has helped in indicating the social rift existing between different societies.

Contrary to many social perspectives, Ali and the neighboring children interact with one another without consideration of the rich or poor status. This scenario has helped to show how children live a full social life without any discrimination or prejudice based on their social economic standing. If all people interacted and lived together with disregard to social-economic status, then they could live a full life and harmoniously. The scene therefore, teaches viewers on the significance of living harmoniously and collectively in any social setting. Further, the film also portray how children, particularly Zehra and Ali can make decisions effectively as a team for their self-sufficiency. This reinforces the idea that social cohesion and valuing each other is necessary for human development. For a society to prosper, members have to take concern of one another’s welfare. In essence, those privileged in the society should not ignore the less privileged as is the case in many societies today.

There are several instances, where the movie’s characters are shown depicting deep sympathy for one another even when the shoes are found. They conspired with one another not to tell their parents on what transpired. This was meant to protect the “offender” from the wrath of the parent and because they knew that, the parent was unable to buy new ones . It is also in this movie where viewers are introduced to social contexts where children are allowed to work at a very young age. For example, Ali, who is only eight years old and supposed to be in school is hired as a gardener in order to earn extra revenue for the family.

Further, the movie has illustrated the general perspective of a typical Arab community, particularly the Iranian one. In addition, the film has vividly illustrated the religious aspect of the Iranian society, the perception of this community on their social-economical situations and their endeavor in meeting the day to day life has also been explained through the actors life and behavior.

In contradiction to many homes in some social settings, the family setting in “Children of heaven” movie is depicted as being happy and living harmoniously at all times. This indicates that with the right type of structures, understanding and the right kind of attitude, it is possible for families to live without acrimony, infighting, mistrust and so on.

In essence, the societal issues have taken a large portion in portraying a day-to-day life challenges particularly for children in a poor social economic contexts. Viewers are made to comprehend how the day-to-day crisis blends the social bond among children in a particular society. Furthermore, the emotional upheavals of parents and children in the movie, coupled with an appealing film soundtrack system have worked effectively in engaging the audience while watching it. The movie offers an evolving and kind sense of the day-to-day living condition of Iranian life. In watching this movie, one would get to know for instance, how a family prepares sugar cubes that are served in mosques, to how children can show concern for their neighbors.

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In conclusion, the movie was enjoyable to watch. Enjoyable because, a part from being well conceived and produced, it gave me an opportunity of witnessing the suffering and struggles of people in low social economic contexts. Moreover, the movie has done much in revealing the social concerns of people especially in third world nations. The film gives the audience an opportunity to examine the day to day struggle of people in some parts of the world of which they may not have a chance of doing so physically. In addition, the film has also done much in revealing the individualism of people that despite seeing others suffer, they are not willing to help them. This movie offers an important message to the audience than living with one another indiscriminately, and with concern of one another is the means of achieving happiness in the society, irrespective of the social economic situation.

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