Children of Heaven Screened in LA

 

On January 28, 2007, over 300 people of all backgrounds and ages attended a special screening of the Iranian film Children of Heaven at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The event was hosted by LACMA, the Ancient Art Council and His Highness Prince Aga Khan Council for the Western United States with a view to promoting a better understanding of contemporary Muslim cultures.
The film, written and directed by Majid Majidi and the first Iranian film to receive an Oscar nomination, tells the story of two children, Ali and his sister Zahra, and the pair of shoes that they are forced to share. Through watching them, the audience gained a better understanding of life in Iran in the 1990s. Majidi is a master at bringing the lives and concerns of children to the screen.
Dr. Linda Komaroff, the curator of Islamic art at LACMA, welcomed guests and introduced the film. Professor Amir Hussain of the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University, led a discussion after the film.
The speakers pointed out that today, more than ever, there is a need to better understand other cultures. People everywhere have the same concerns and issues, about how to earn a living, raise a family and educate their children. However, discussions of politics or religion can be divisive. Technology has allowed people more access to one another and their ideas, yet we seem to still lack genuine understanding as we talk to each other rather than with each other.
Film, Professor Hussain said, is a medium that allows us a glimpse into how people in different cultures deal with these issues.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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