The Boston Phoenix
Review from issue: September 17 - 24, 1998

[Boston Film Festival]

| reviews & features | by movie | by theater | by time and neighborhood | film specials | hot links |

Children of Heaven

Even the seemingly virgin territory of Iranian cinema can be tainted by formula, though to most Western eyes the result will still seem fresh. Clumsily imitating Abbas Kiarostami's Where Is the Friend's House? and Jafar Panahi's The White Balloon, Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven pits adorable Teheran urchins against Sisyphean obstacles to achieve mundane goals.

In this case it's a pair of pink shoes. Eight-year-old Ali gets distracted at the grouchy fruit peddlar's and the newly repaired slippers he's bringing home for his younger sister Zahra are appropriated by a rag picker. Afraid to tell their parents, he and Zahra work out a scheme by which they share his battered sneakers until a school road race with a new pair of running shoes for a prize offers them hope. Far too much time is spent following children running through back alleys, and unlike the limpid fables of Kiarostami and Panahi, Majidi's film is contrived and anti-climactic, its glimpses into Iranian life superficial. Screens at the Copley Place Saturday, September 19 at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 19 at 5, 7:15, and 9:15 p.m.

-- Peter Keough

Film Festival Feature Films

| The Witman Boys | The Cruise | Confessions of a Sexist Pig | Melting Pot | Pleasantville | Clay Pigeons | Waking Ned Devine | Blood, Guts, Bullets, & Octane | My Name is Joe | Six Ways to Sunday | The Theory of Flight | A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries | Down in the Delta | Children of Heaven | I Married a Strange Person | 20 Dates | Bandits |

More Boston Film Festival information, film descriptions, and show times

[Movies Footer]

| home page | what's new | search | about the phoenix | feedback |
Copyright © 1997 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group. All rights reserved.