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.)
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