Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It's approaching 4:30 a.m., and I've just spent the last hour and a half doing something I thought I'd never do: Watching a foreign film, with captions. It's only a little stranger that the language of this film was not French, not Italian, but Farsi--the language of Iran, one of the famed "Axis of Evil" nations.
Let me say right now that I am sincerely afraid of Iran, although perhaps not quite as afraid as I am of the remnants of the Bush Administration. But this film, "Children of Heaven," is about school children, a pre-teen brother and sister who live in a slum with their parents. More specifically, it is about the difficulties that ensue when young Ali, the owner of a single pair of sneakers, manages to lose the shoes of his sister Zahra, who also has only one set of footgear.
Afraid to tell their parents, the brother and sister are driven to attending school in shifts, each in turn wearing Ali's sneakers. Meanwhile, Ali wracks his brain, trying to think of a way to replace Zahra's shoes. The answer that presents itself is interesting--but will it work?
A charming film; and a peek into the low-income side of a culture we know all too little about. (As we do of most cultures, even our own.)
I have already discovered I like late night movie watching, and I plan to do more of it. I believe it is important for us all to experience as much of life as possible--most of all the good parts. Past midnight is not really a time to experience the good aspects of life, though.
So, I say, live vicariously when the safer aspects of life are turned off. Join the library and pick up your DVDs there. Rent them through Netflix (c) or Blockbuster(c). Swap them with friends.
Above all, avoid what is playing at the mall. At least until it has had time enough to become interesting. Try something new.
Let late night be your time for vicarious living, for adventure in movieland. A good night's sleep no doubt would be better; but if sleep doesn't come it's always good to have an alternate plan.

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