Children of Heaven

Implanting an idea in a dream inside a dream inside a dream is very sophisticated, confusing and it boggles our mind. As you all might have figured out I am talking about Christopher Nolan’s Inception; a landmark movie which has to be watched twice to fully understand and maybe thrice to appreciate. As magnificent as the movie maybe I have taken up something which is quite contradictory to it. A children’s movie with the most simplistic theme of the relation between a brother and a sister and a pair of lost shoes, this movie gets to you even if you are six or sixty.

As kids we all have had that unique best friend/god-father/parent relation with our brother or sister and a world of our own with secret pacts and settlements. Some of my secret pacts include forged signatures of our parents, hiding the broken CDs (the pre pen-drive era), sharing food, proper division of T.V. time and complete autonomy when it comes to fights, we fight…we solve . Also, many a times we lose each other’s belongings and beg the other person to not complain to parents and this is essentially what the movie is all about. Being from a poor family in Tehran, Iran, Ali loses his sister’s shoes; in reality a blind rag-picker thinking it to be garbage accidentally picks it up and Ali on returning home begs his sister, Zahra to not say this to the parents. The two then makes a grand plan of sharing a single pair of shoes in shifts; Zahra gets it in the morning for school and Ali comes to collect it from her in the afternoon for his classes which often ends up in him being late and thus adding to his trouble. Meanwhile Zahra notices her pink shoes being worn by another girl who is actually the daughter of the blind rag-picker and she decides to forgo it. Soon Ali finds a way out; he comes to know about a footrace and the third price being a pair of sneakers. He decides to win it for Zahra which ultimately ends in him finishing the race with first place. He is shattered and disappointed and returns home empty-handed to Zahra who is anxiously waiting. Ali then puts his blistered feet in water and movie ends with a separate scene were the father is returning home with two pairs of shoes for Ali and Zahra both.

‘Children of Heaven’ which released in 1997, was nominated for the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film. What is remarkable about this film is that we all can relate to it, yes we fight with our brothers and sisters but we do love them and maybe we too would have acted in the same manner that Ali and Zahra did. This movie may not have dragons or ice queens or superheroes but it has got a genuine heart which reminds us of the innocence and selfless love we had as kids, it mirrors all that is good in humanity; finding happiness in the midst of poverty, understanding, being considerate, kind and to love and care for one another.

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