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July 21, 2018

A tribute to Iranian cinema


July 21, 2018

Islamabad : Screenwriter-Director: Majid Majidi Cast: Amir Farrokh, Behare Seddiqi Mandwa Film Club of Lok Virsa brings Iranian screenwriter-director, Majid Majeedi's, powerful film Children of Heaven on July 21 at 5 pm.

Cinema in Iran has flourished in an amazing way since 1979. Children films, films for women, animation, history, science and education-Iranian cinema just about brought every genre of life on screen with imagination and impact. The truth is that leaving

essential commercial ingredients aside(music, romance, action/violence) cinema in Iran has gone on to a level which other few other were able to attain in one's lifetime.

Director Majid Majidi who began his career on stage, has made some of the best films in the last twenty years which won recognition and acclaim worldwide(Colour of Paradise, Children of Heaven, Baraan, The Prophet and now Beyond the Clouds, filmed in India).

Children of Heaven released in 1998 became so popular both with children and adults that its authorised distorted cut and paste adaptation came from Mumbai as Bum Bum Boley. Let us admit that someone in Mumbai had the courage (notwithstanding commercial box office hazards)to dare into this territory.

Events in the life of the brother and his younger school going sister from a lower-middle class family take us to a world where these children cannot afford a new pair of shoes .The older pink pair of shoes, earlier repaired (on which the film's titles appear) has drowned in the sewerage. We must stop for further revealing the plot details here.

Children of Heaven shines in a league of its own for heart-warming performance by Farrokh and Behare with powerful script which would not let you move from your seat once the film unspools. Down-to-earth production design, camerawork, editing and, above all, gripping directorial command work at their best here. Children of Heaven was not made in the film studios but secretly on the back streets of Tehran to capture the impact of low-middle class community without interference. Made with a low budget of $ 180,000, the film received several awards worldwide and acclaimed at prestigious international film festivals. Critics have placed the film at par with Italian director Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thief from 1948 for its downright realism.

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