children of heaven

A sweet, affecting tale of a brother and sister who scout the streets of urban Iran in search of a pair of battered sneakers while juggling school and home responsibilities. Despite the shoe-crisis and a basic poverty, they remain respectful, strong, and enchanted by life’s simple joys be they soap bubbles or sparkling goldfish. As do we. Naturalistic performances and a touching portrayal of deep family love rarely seen on this continent make it a movie gem. [iran, 1997]

kandahar

This beautifully shot film chronicles the journey of an Afghani-born Canadian journalist as she tries to rescue her sister from Kandahar. As a teenager, Nafas, played by real journalist, non-actor Nelofer Pazira, fled Afghanistan; her beloved sister was injured by a landmine and was forced to stay behind. After receiving a letter from her sister threatening suicide, Nafas attempts the nearly impossible journey through Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to rescue her sister. While the plot is deceptively simple, the images in this film speak volumes. Highly recommended as a study on culture, rights, and freedom. [france/iran, 2001]