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Patience and Restraint in Children of Heaven

by Michelle Langford

Majid Majidi’s Children of Heaven tells the simple story of a little girl (Zahra) and her brother (Ali), who has lost his sister’s only pair of shoes. Because the don’t want to trouble their parents, who are desperately poor, they share one pair of shoes. He wears them to school in the morning; she in the afternoon. In this clip, Zahra notices another little girl at school wearing her beloved pink shoes. Majidi’s camera effectively takes up the perspective of the little girl, shown through the use of the searching camera that restricts our field of vision so much that we can experience Zahra’s single-minded obsession. But this obsession is not translated, as we might expect, into a confrontation; Zahra merely stands next to the little girl, not sure what to do. Here Majidi is using the child character to exemplify the value of patience and restraint.

Patience and Restraint in Children of Heaven

Clip from Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven

from Children of Heaven (1997)
Creator: Majid Majidi
Posted by Michelle Langford