As the story opens, young Ali is picking up his sister's shoes from the repair shop. On the way home, the shoes are inadvertently lost and Ali must tell his little sister Zahra they are gone. The family has no money for new shoes and Ali fears they will both be beaten, so they don't tell their parents but come up with a plan: Zahra will wear Ali's shoes to school in the morning and he will wear them in the afternoon.
This Iranian film is absolutely charming. We see the world through the children's eyes...the harsh realities of their poverty and the contrasting luxury Ali sees when he helps his father as a gardener. Ali risks serious consequences by sticking with the plan and Zahra's heart longs for the beautiful shoes of her classmates. The children who play the leads are natural actors, completely believable and sympathetic; sadly, this was their only movie.
I couldn't wait to see what would happen next and the long-distance race at the end is really exciting. Highly recommended, but keep the tissues handy. (In Persian with English subtitles.)
If you saw and enjoyed the delightful Iranian film `The Apple,' which tells the tale of two young sisters kept at home by their over-protective parents, then you'll love this as it's every bit as good. This was a big success financially, costing $180,000 to make and grossing $1,600,000! This scored an audience 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's a very simple tale indeed about a very young brother & sister combo. Ali & Zarah. Ali picks up his sister's school shoes from the cobblers but unfortunately manages to lose them! - Disaster! The family are very poor and Dad will go mad! They decide to share Ali's tatty old white tennis plimsolls for school etc. Quite how you can make a film last for 90 minutes on a theme of just a pair of trainers is well worth seeing! The brotherly and sisterly bond is just captivating and Zarah's expressions as she suffers the humiliation and indignity of wearing his dirty old trainers is palatable, as is her envy of all of her school friends who seemingly have far better shoes than her - wonderful acting. Just like any good brother would, Ali is going to do his level best to put things right for his sister. This is such a simple family film. I know it won't please those who like action all the way, but this is a little gem which a lot of people have already recognized.
Such a beautiful film. The spirit of the two siblings is so wonderful. Made me sad and smile at the same time. Everyone should see this film, it makes me think how lucky we all are to live in a fairly affluent society.
iranian movies with children as main characters remind me of some movies made in the former Soviet bloc. Avoiding certain subjects (censorship) and telling a simple story presented through children's point of view, they still manage to show us the society as it is (without the glitz), They tell us about the struggle and more importantly about the aspirations of their protagonists, who don't accept their situation and always hope for better. The perfomance of the children in this movie is superb.
One of the new Iranian cinema's most accessible films, this is actually a very worthy movie, if a bit on the sentimental side (while Iranian movies have a strongly humanistic bent, they usually reject maudlin sentimentalism). Directed by Kiarostami's disciple Majidi, this story tells the tale of a brother and a sister from a poor neighborhood in Tehran. Problem comes when the boy, through no fault of his own, loses her sister's shoes. Since their family is too poor to buy a new pair of shoes, they have to share their shoes in secret, trading them off in a rush every day. The boy eventually comes up with a plan to solve this problem: entering into a race that gives a pair of shoes as a prize to the third-placed runner. The climactic race is a bit on the sentimental side, but the movie is very much worthwhile watching. One favorite part: when the brother goes with his father to a rich Tehran neighborhood to find work as gardeners.
A very beautiful unpretentious simple story, excellently directed and well acted by its young actors. Delicate, sensitive, funny and emotional; an excellent example of how you can have a good film without exaggerated events.