Children of Heaven (1997) Script

[People Chattering, Child Talking]


Cast: Amir Naji M. Hashemian, B. Sadiahi, N. Mohammadi

[Metal Rattling]

F. Sarabandi, K. Mirkarimi, B. Rafii [Footsteps Approaching]


[Man Shouting In Persian]

[Chattering Continues]

Music: K. Jahanshahi Editor: H. Hassandoust Cinematographer: P. Malekzadeh Producer: S. Sayedzadeh

[Man Shouting Continues]

Written & Directed by: Majid Majidi

That'll be 30 Toumans. Thank you.

Here is your change.

Thank you. You're welcome. Good-bye.

Salt, salt for trade.!

Hello, Akbar Aqa. I need some potatoes.

Not those, kid. Pick some down there.

Hello. How are you?

With your permission.


[Man Shouting Continues]

Sixty-five Toumans. My mom said to put it on our tab.

Tell her your account has reached its limit.

She should come and pay at least part of it.

All right.


What the hell are you doing?

Why did you spill these? Are you crazy?

My sister's shoes disappeared. Get lost. Beat it.

I left my sister's shoes here. I said get lost.

What? You're still here?

You don't pay rent.

With all the water you use, the yard will collapse.!

What can I do? The laundry is dirty.!

I don't give a damn if the laundry is dirty.!

Don't you ever do your wash?

Why don't you wash all the neighbors’ carpets... while you're at it?

[Clattering] But don't you ever wash your clothes?

You damn people are going to ruin me!

You haven't paid rent in five months.

Why do you pour so much water?

Don't you ever wash your clothes during the year?

This is the last time, I'm warning you.!

Why don't you come here when there are men to put you in your place?


Tell Zahra to peel the potatoes after she puts the baby to sleep.

Ali, did you get my shoes?

Mom said to peel the potatoes if the baby is asleep.

I said, did you get my shoes? Yes.

Has he repaired them nicely? Yes.

[Baby Whining]

Where are you going? I want to see what they look like.

Your shoes are not there.

Are you teasing me? No, I swear I'm telling the truth.

I went to the store, and the shoes disappeared.

I looked all over, but I couldn't find them.

You mean they're lost?

Don't say anything to Mom. I'll find them.

How will I get to school tomorrow?

Don't cry. I'll go after them right away. I'll find them.

But you said you looked all over.

Not all over.

Please, don't tell Mom anything.

Ali! Ali, where are you going?

Help me fold the rug. Where are you going?

[Boys Chattering]

[Chattering Continues]

Ali, we play against Shahin tomorrow.

Where are you going?


What are you doing here again?

Didn't I tell you to stay away? What a pain in the neck!

Hello, Aqa Sayed. Hello, son. How are you?

Are you going home? Yes.

Wait a minute. I need a favor.

This is sugar for next week's ceremony.

Ask your dad to chop it. Yes, sir.

Stay well, son.

You have nothing to do with the landlord.

It's my job to deal with him.

Why do you argue with him?

I'll teach him a lesson. I'll break his neck.

I'll make him understand where his place is.

Tell me why you don't listen to me!

Didn't the doctor say you shouldn't do work?

Don't get mad.! Why did you do all this wash?

That rug is heavy when it's wet.!

You! Why didn't you help your mother... when she asked you to?

You should have been patient.

I would have come home and taken care of it.

What is your duty in this house?

Eat, sleep and play?

You're not a kid anymore. You're nine years old.

When I was nine years old, I helped my parents.

Why do you make me mad?

Are you stupid? Are you dumb? Don't you understand?

[Baby Crying] All right. Don't stress yourself.

They make me so mad.

[Baby Crying]

[Crying Continues]

[Mother Humming]

I don't know why the baby has been feeling bad all day.

Zahra, pour some tea for your father.

[Cup Rattling]

[Tea Pouring]

[Hammering Continues]

Thank you, dear.

I serve tea all day long at the company, but Zahra's tea has a special taste.

Zahra, dear, you didn't bring the sugar bowl.

There is all this sugar.

This belongs to the mosque.

It's been given us in trust.

Get some sugar candy from the pot.

Are we out of sugar?

I've been taking the coupons to the grocer, but the sugar hasn't arrived yet.

Forget about him.

He doesn't pay attention to the news.

He distributes it when he decides.

You'd better give the coupons to me.

I'll get the sugar from the company store. They're under the rug.

[Baby Whining]

What's wrong, darling?

Ali... how am I going... to school... without shoes...


Go to your company store tomorrow.

We don't have any formula left. Buy some for the baby.

Don't worry.

Rahim Aqa's wife had a slipped disc.

Surgery made it worse.

You should learn to live with it.

What do you want me to do? Do nothing all day?

Well, the doctor has forbidden work.

You can go to school with slippers.

Kokab Khanom's sister had surgery, and she's fine.

Don't even think about surgery.

I don't want you to become crippled.

Ali, you really have some nerve.

You lost my shoes.

I'm going to tell Dad.

Zahra, if you tell Dad, he'll beat both of us... because he doesn't have money to buy you a pair of shoes.

Then what should I do?

You can wear my sneakers.

I'll wear them... when you're back from school.

This is for you.

[Birds Chirping]

[Man Shouting]

Salt, salt, trade for dry bread.

Salt trade for plastic bags, for old slippers!

[Traffic Noises]

[Feet Landing On Cement]


You, Niloofar. You, Fereshteh.

[Girls Gasping, Exclaiming]

Are you all right? Stay here.

Listen, kids.

Fereshteh couldn't jump well because of her shoes.

One of the most important things... is sneakers.

And I see, unfortunately, that some of you don't wear them, but some of you are wearing them.

Okay, Bahareh, it's your turn.


[Loud Chattering]

[Car Horn Honks]


[Baby Crying]

Come on!

Hurry up!

Why are you late? I'm not late. I ran all the way.

Take the sneakers off. I'm late.

[Cars Passing, Horn Honking]

[Children Chattering]

Did you get to school on time?

I was late. You have to come earlier.

I came right after the class.

You didn't tell Mom, did you? When I say I won't tell, I won't.

The sneakers are very dirty.

I'm ashamed to wear them. You're making excuses again.

No, it's true. They are very dirty.

Well, we'll wash them.


Ali, let's go to practice. I'm busy.

Come on. I can't come.

It won't take long. My mother is ill.

Get lost.

[TV: Man Speaking Persian] Today my dear girl did all the housework... and Ali helped her.

I bought bread and vegetables.

I swept the floor, washed the vegetables and peeled potatoes.

Good girl.

I'll buy something nice for both of them when I get a raise.

[Man Continues Speaking]

You look much better now... after a couple of days rest.

If you don't use the stairs, soon you'll be all right.




What is it? Ali, it's raining.

The sneakers are getting wet. I'm afraid to go outside.

[Thunder Rumbling] [Door Closes]


[Radio: : Man Talking]


[Door Slams]

Excuse me, ma'am. What time is it?

There is still time left to write. Go on.

Excuse me, ma'am. May I leave?

So you were just in a hurry to leave?


[Horn Honking]

[Cars Passing, Horn Honking]




[Gasps, Panting]

[Sobbing, Sniffling]


What is it, little girl? What happened, my dear?

My shoe fell in the water. It's stuck under the bridge.

All right. Don't cry, dear. I'll get it for you.

Run and catch it.

Catch that shoe, old man. Catch it.

Where were you?

Why are you late?

Why is it wet? I won't wear these anymore.

Why it is wet? It fell in the gutter.

How do I go to school in a wet sneaker?

They're big. They come off. That's a good one!

It's your fault. You lost my shoes.

Find them or I'll tell Dad.

I'm not scared of getting a beating!

Dad has no money until the end of the month, so he has to borrow some.

I thought you understood that.

Wait a minute.

Come down here.

Where have you been? Why are you so late?

Please, sir, I live far from here.

Or do you play on the way?

You were late yesterday as well.

Next time, I won't let you in.

Yes, sir.

Why are your shoes wet?

Please, sir, I fell in the gutter.

Why aren't your pants wet?

Please, sir, it was shallow.

Is that so?

Why aren't your socks wet?

Don't let it happen again.

Go to your class. Yes, sir.

[Running Footsteps]

[Man Talking]

Permission, sir? Sit down.


"We are playing against Shahin today."

"I can't come. My mom is ill."

It's the final match.

[All Laughing]

What's going on?

Can't you keep quiet until I'm finished?

Sit up straight.

Sit down. Sit down.!

Those who were laughing will now cry.

Everybody failed, except for 15 students.

However, three earned top grades.

Karim Nanva.

Ali Mandegar. Salman Najafi,

I want to talk to them after class.

Zahra, Zahra.

Why don't you wait when I call you?

Where are you going?

I'm returning Kobra Khanom's bowl of offering stew.

Are you mad at me?

Isn't it nice? Where did you get it?

It's a prize from my teacher. It's for you.

Take it.

Really, for me? Yes.

I didn't tell Mom, you know?

I knew you wouldn't. I'll be back soon.

[Liquid Boiling] [Baby Cooing]

[Radio Tuning] Ali, dear, bring me that tray.

[music] [Radio]

[Man Speaking English]

Take the bowl of soup to Kokab Khanom.

[music] [Man Singing In Persian]

[Radio Tuning]

[music][Radio: : Man Singing]

Who is it? It's me, Ali.

I have some soup for Kokab Khanom. Come in, son.

Hello. Hello, Ali, dear.

Thank you very much.

How is your dad, son? He is fine. Thank you.

Ali, dear, it's very nice of your mother.

Don't mention it. How is your mom?

She is fine. Not bad.

Give her my regards. Yes, ma'am.

Ali, don't go now. Wait a minute. It's not much.

Here, take this. No, thank you.

Take it, son. God bless you.

Give my regards to your dad.

Arms up.!

I am the flower of this country!


Obedient to the leader.

Exams are coming up. I have some suggestions for you.

Look, children, during the exam period, you want to see the result of your labor.

So you should work harder. You must organize your time.

I will talk to your parents to make sure... you can study without problems at home.

You should not stay up late... to watch TV series.

Set a limited time for a break to watch the cartoons, then all you do is study.

Ask your mothers to go over the lessons with you... to make sure you understand them well.

I told you that you must clip your fingernails regularly.

You have to clip them every Friday when you have time... so that on Saturday they're clean.

Why? Because bacteria... collects under the nails... and when you eat... with your hands, you get sick.

All right, you may go to your classes.


In order, my dear. Go in order, my girl.

First grade, second, third, fourth and fifth.

The ducks...

started to fly...

and carried the turtle with them.

[Bell Ringing]

Hold your sheets up, hold your sheets up.

Hurry up, my dear.

Farrokhi, you collect the papers on this side.

Keep your minds focused. Use the break period properly.

Remember, the next class is mathematics.

[Bell Rings]

[Girls Chattering Loudly]



Hi! Hello!

[Phone Rings]

[Ringing Continues] [Panting]

[Ringing Continues]

Why are you late this time?

You can't use the wet-shoe excuse now.

Come down here. Come on.

Come on, get going. Come on.

I'm talking to you. Go home and come back with your father.

Please, sir, my father is at work.

Tell him to come tomorrow. Get going.

Please, sir, he goes to work tomorrow too.

So come back with your mother. Please, sir, my mother is ill.

I won't accept any excuses. This is how we treat an irresponsible student.

Out you go. Get out.

What happened, Ali? What is it?

Stay here.

Good morning.

He's a good student, very orderly.

Mandegar, come here.

This time I'll excuse you for Mr. Jafari's sake.

Don't let it happen again.

Go to your class. Go!

That was very kind of you. You're welcome.

There it is. That's their house.



You little devil. Playing games again?

Where are you, my love?

Little devil!

[Airplane Engine Buzzing] You naughty girl!

Do you need anything?

Roya.! After you buy the bread, come right back.

[music][Man Singing]

[music][Men Singing]

[Man Talking]

[music][Singing Continues]

[music] [Singing Along]

Come and serve the tea.

Yes, let's go, Mustafa.

[music][Man Singing Continues]

Are you sure you don't need these?

No. Don't worry.

May Fatima Zahra reward you. Thank you.

Are you sure you can do the job?

Spraying a couple of trees... and plowing the garden is no big deal!

Besides, it costs nothing. I got the equipment from Hosein.

Sometimes he takes off from work... and goes all the way uptown.

Since he's been doing this, he's even saved a little.

Tomorrow is Friday, so Ali and I will go uptown and go around.

It's fun, and we might make some money.

[Whistle Blowing]

[Siren Wailing]


[Panting Continues]

Let's go.

I'll ring the bells on this side, and you take the other.

What should I say? Ask them if they need a gardener.

Listen to me and learn. You do the same. Come here.


Hello! It's me.

Who is it? Karim, ma'am.

Karim? Who are you looking for?

No one, ma'am. Who are you?

I mean... We... Why do you bother people?

Wait a minute! Parviz, go see who's bothering us!

Run, Ali! Who is it?

Stay right there, if you're a man!

Get off, Ali.

What strange people! What did I say wrong?


Who is it? Good morning.

May I help you? Yes, thanks.

Who are you? My name is Karim.

Karim? Who are you looking for?

L-l... We are gardeners, sir.

We spray the trees, plow the garden... prune the branches.

We don't need your services.

Bravo. You know a lot.

Let's go.


Do you need a gardener? No, we don't need one.

[Woman Answers]

[Girl On Intercom, Ali Speaking]

[Girl Answers]

[Beeps] [Woman On Intercom]


Yes? Do you need a gardener?

[Growling, Barking] No, thank you.

[Barking Continues]

Run, Ali, run.

Dad, do you want some water? No, son.

Who is it? Who is it?

Hey, boy, why don't you answer?

Are you gone? I'm here.

Ask your dad if you need any gardening.

My dad isn't home. Ask your mom.

She's not home either. It's only my grandpa and me.

Ask your grandpa if you need a gardener.

Are you a gardener? Not me, my dad.

Where is your dad? Right here, in the street.

Now will you ask your grandpa? Tell me your name first.

My name is Ali.

And my name is Alireza.

What grade are you in? I'm in third grade.

Now will you get your grandpa?

My grandpa is asleep.

Why didn't you say so in the first place?

Ali, let's go.

Ali, do you want to come in and play with me?

I have to go. Bye.

Ali, wait!

[Boy Yells]

I have some fertilizer you can use.

After that, you can spray the trees.

Especially the cherry and apricot trees.

I planted them myself. I spray them every year.

One year I didn't spray them... and two of them died.

Okay. Ali, let's go play.

Come on. Let's go.

Go on, son. I'll stay with your father.

Go, dear.

[Boys Giggling]

Thank you very much. Here you go. [Ball Bouncing]

Money is not important. Please.

It is too much. It is not worthy of you.

Thank you. You did all the work. I thank you.

Let's go.

When I come back here, I'll call to see... if you have work for me.

Good-bye. Good-bye.

I could take a month of vacation, and in the afternoons, instead of working overtime, I could work in this neighborhood.

We're gonna have a better life.

We're gonna buy everything.

I'll buy a motorcycle, I'll buy a dresser, an iron for your mother, a big refrigerator.

We may even rent a larger house.

I'll buy everything! Buy a pair of shoes for Zahra.

That's nothing. I'll buy a pair for you too.

Buy a pair for Zahra first. Hers are torn. All right.

Ali, hold on tight!

Dad, please stop! The brakes are gone. Hold tight!

Dad, stop!

Hold on tight!

Dad, please stop!

Hold on! Shit!


The landlord came by again for the rent.

What an insolent man!

I went to see him a couple of days ago.

I told him I'd pay him soon.

That man doesn't see reason.

He waited for you for two, three hours in the yard.

The idiot! I'll go see him tomorrow.

You can't go empty-handed. Trust in God.

Don't worry. Can you go in this condition?

Nothing's wrong with me.

[Thunder Rumbling]

[Bell Rings]

Hey, girl! Wait! Your pen!

Attention, students. I'm talking to you boys.

There is a series of long-distance races for kids of all ages... being organized in this province.

The first round has been planned for third and fourth graders.

Those interested in the race should come and register... for a preliminary selection.

The runners will be timed.


Here, your pen.

You dropped it yesterday.

Aga Davood, see what this good man needs.

Hello. Good morning.

I hope you are well. Thank you. How can I help you?

I need a pair of girl's shoes for a good price.

What size? I don't know the size, but she's in first grade.

First grade.

Here you are. Two models. Which do you want?

What color are they?

One pair is red with red trimming.

The other pair is violet with red and yellow trimming.

Red and yellow. Good price? We'll agree on something.

Yellow and red. That's very good. Thank you.

Salt.! Salt.! Salt.!

Hello. Here you are. Hello.

What do you want in exchange? A basket.

There you go.

[Man Shouting]

[Running Footsteps]

Hi. Hi.

Is your house that way? So is our house.

Your shoes are pretty. Did you just buy them?

My dad bought them for me.

What did you do with your old shoes?

My mom threw them out.

She threw them out?

Why? What for? They were torn.

When I get good grades, my dad buys me something.

This time he bought me shoes.

[Thunder Rumbling]

[Thunder Continues]

[Thunder Continues] [Whistle Blows]

[Blows Whistle]

[Whistle Continues]

[Bell Ringing]

Sir! My name is not there.

Sir! Didn't I pass? I ran well! My name is not there either.

Why are you protesting?

You can't all be selected.

Only five or six students from each school.

God willing, you'll make it next time.

Move out of the way. Come on.

Aren't they lucky? Two weeks in Ramsar. Good for them.

Taqizadeh is on the list. Look, Hoseini.

"First prize: Two weeks at a holiday camp and a set of sport suits.

"Second prize: Two weeks at a holiday camp and school supplies.

Third prize: One week at a holiday camp and a pair of sneakers."

"A pair of sneakers."


With permission, sir. Come in.

What do you want? Sir, I want to be in the race.

Are you serious? You are a little too late!

Where were you? Asleep?

Sir, I forgot.

You missed your chance. Don't forget next time.

Sir, I want to be in this race.

No way, my boy. Please, sir.

I said no. Sir, I want so much to be in this race.

It is not up to you to decide, my boy.

You missed the test, and the deadline is up.

Sir, please do something. Let me be part of the race.

You are really pigheaded. When I say you can't, you can't.

Get out of here.

[Sobbing] Please, sir, I promise to win.

Please, sir, please register my name.

Please, sir, I can run very fast.

I'll leave everyone behind. I promise to win.

Please, sir, register my name.

Zahra, I have good news. What news?

I was selected for the race.

What race? Long-distance running.

The third-best runner gets a pair of new sneakers.

Why the third?

The first and second prizes are something else.

If I come in third, I'll give you the sneakers.

But those shoes are for boys.

I'll exchange them. I'll get a pair of girl's shoes for you.

What if you don't come in third?

I'll be third for sure.

[Shouting In Unison]

Help the boys get ready. It's late.

Get down! Hurry up!

Come on, boys. Come on.

Take off your clothes.

Come on. Hurry up.

[Laughing, Chattering]

Come on, boy. Hurry up.

[Helicopter Blades Whirring]

Attention! Dear children, the race is four kilometers.

The finish line is on the other side of the lake.

Don't push the other runners. Winning isn't everything.

The important thing is sportsmanship. Good luck to you all.

Now, ready, one, two...

[All Shouting]

[Bird Calling]



[Boy Laughing]

Why are you late? I'm not late. I ran all the way.

Come on. Give me the shoes. I'm late for school.

The sneakers are very dirty. I'm ashamed to wear them.

I won't wear these anymore.

It's all your fault. You lost my shoes. Find them or I'll tell Dad.

If I come in third, I'll give you the sneakers.

What if you don't come in third?

I'll be third for sure.



[Panting Continues]


"70 Meters"

"50 Meters"

"30 Meters"

[Helicopter Blades Whirring]

[Cheering, Applauding]

Bravo, Ali! Bravo, Ali! Did I come in third, sir?

Why third, my dear? You were first.

Bravo! You won the race.

[Applause Continues]

You'll win next time.

[Siren Wailing]

Bring Ali.

Look this way, all of you.

Look here.

Please move away. I want his picture alone.

Hold your head high, champ.

Hold your head up.!

One more.

[Gate Closes]

[Baby Crying]

[Crying Continues]

[Gasps, Exhales]

[Man Shouting]

[Man Shouting]

[Shouting Continues]