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Children of Heaven Film Analysis - Essay Example

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Children of Heaven depicts the lives of a family in Tehran who are living in less than favorable circumstances. Even though the circumstances have forced the family to survive on a meager income, but the family is a coherent and well structured social unit…
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Children of Heaven Film Analysis
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Children of Heaven Film Analysis

Download file to see previous pages... In doing so the film also shows that the children look out for each other. Although Zahra could have gone to her parents and reported the entire incident but she chooses to defend her brother by cooperating with him. The familial coherence depicted in the film represents a culture defined by a strong family institution. Alternatively it may also be argued that poverty stricken circumstances force people to look out for each other in small groups such as families. However either way a strong family institution cannot be denied in Iranian culture. Other than the issues of frugality and a closely knit family, the film’s settings warrant a lot of attention. The film contrasts the dwellings and neighborhoods of the poor and the affluent in modern Tehran where the film has been shot. The inner city where the family resides dates back to medieval times and is a hallmark of congestion and urban sprawl. Generations after generations have grown up in the same houses that are placed together in thin streets. As families expand, there is demand for more and more living space. However the closely knit family structure demands that a consanguine family arrangement must persist even in terms of living. Given the shortage of space these old houses cannot be expanded vertically so to deal with a larger family’s accommodation problems, the only real solution is to build upwards. There is of course a limit to how high these buildings can be constructed - not due to regulatory requirements but rather due to flimsy construction techniques in use. These houses are built by placing walls that are then covered using roofs using largely bricks and cement only. This mandates that these buildings cannot be expanded more than a few storeys’ high (generally two to three storey’s high only). When the inner city depicted in the film is analyzed it is immediately apparent that the buildings are not more than two to three storey’s high and are placed together one after the other. The high demand for housing space in an already constrained area means that there is no concept of gardens or small green patches to make the environment a little better. Instead any small spaces that could have been used for vegetation are also occupied or merged into housing spaces. Furthermore the high demand for housing means that any open spaces that would have been reserved for civic purposes such as parks have also been occupied to build houses. Throughout the entire film there are no parks or other civic facilities shown in the inner city which in turn indicates that the people living in the inner city have little chances for recreation. Socially this would also lead to other problems such as the use of drugs but this has not been depicted by the film because its intended audience is mainly children. The hap hazardous placement of houses together in such a fashion means that markets are not planned features of such settlements. However there is little denying that markets would still be required so alternative make shift arrangements can be expected. When Ali goes to the cobbler, the film provides a glimpse into the market based arrangement in the inner city in Tehran. The cobbler can be seen sitting in the middle of a street crossing (popularly known as a “chowk” in South East Asia) while other vendors and peddlers are also available nearby. The cobbler is depicted occupying a part of the street to secure his work area. Other than the cobbler there are a number ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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