This week’s “DVD of the Week That You Never Saw Before and Can Still Order for the Weekend” is from Iran: Children of Heaven (1997).
Movies from Iran have beautiful spiritual values, none more touching than this story about a brother and sister and a lost pair of shoes. I won’t give away anything more. You’ve got to see this movie for yourself, preferably with your family or a friend, so you can share the love. Children of Heaven was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film in 1998. Roger Ebert said it is “very nearly a perfect movie for children,” (one that) “lacks the cynicism and smart-mouth attitudes of so much American entertainment for kids and glows with a kind of good-hearted purity.” Vickie and I saw it by ourselves and later invited adult friends to come and join us at Cinema Leach (aka the basement) for a second showing. We told them the truth, that it was more exciting than Rocky, but they politely declined or had excuses when told it was a family film in Persian from Iran.
Vickie and I have seen about half a dozen films from Iran and are invariably moved by their spiritual values. Catholics know that spiritual truth speaks many languages and wears multicolored clothes, and we can not only learn from other traditions but find our own faith and culture enriched by them. And movie-lovers know that the best way to learn what people in another country are really like, other than visiting them yourself, is to watch a movie made by them and for them. Please give yourself a treat and rent this simple little movie about people who are your neighbors. They will expand your heart.
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