Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More Movie Picks

This weekend Taylor and I watched Ushpizin, a film from Israel. It was fascinating. It tells the story of Moshe, a man with a sordid past who has become an extremely faithful, Orthodox Jew. His wife, Mali, is equally faithful and by the way, absolutely presh. They have many struggles--including zero money and infertility. But they continue to believe that God will bless them with miracles if they are faithful enough and pray hard enough. Taylor and I are Mormons, and it was really fascinating for us to learn more about Jewish practices and beliefs, and talk about how similar many of those beliefs are to ours. Very interesting, very touching. See it!

Another recommendation is Children of Heaven, an Iranian film from the same director as The Color of Paradise. This movie tells the story of a poor family in Iran--an ill mother, a father doing his best to make ends meet, and a young son (Ali) and daughter (Zohre) who go to different schools, and then come home to help with the house work and to take care of their mother. When Ali loses Zohre's shoes things become desperate. It was her only pair of shoes, and they have no money for new ones. Keeping it secret from their parents, Ali and Zohre decide to share Ali's shoes, which becomes quite an undertaking. This film is beautiful. I loved it even more than The Color of Paradise. One of the reasons that Taylor and I so whole-heartedly recommend these Iranian films is that they remind us of the beautiful countryside of Iran and the sweet, humble people there. In a time when half the world is ready to drop a nuke on Iran, it is a good reminder that the people there are not all as crazy as their president. They are, in fact, just like us.

8 comments:

Sarah said...

Reading your review of Children reminded me of The Bicycle Thief. I'm sure you've seen it, but if not, it's a very worthwhile Italian film. We're going to have to hook-up our dvd player and sign up for Blockbuster! We haven't rented a movie since we left Utah.

Mrs. Cropper said...

Actually, Sarah, I've never seen it. I've always wanted to. Thanks for reminding me--I'll add it to my queue! Yeah, we highly recommend Blockbuster online. You can find anything and it's a super great deal.

Katie said...

I love the Children of Heaven. So darling. I will have to check out that first one. I have always been interested in the Jewish faith. Especially after living in Beverly Hills (there are tons of Orthodox Jews there) I have always been impressed with their strict moral code. A fun book about this subject: The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis.

Katrina said...

If you liked the movie about the Jewish couple, you should read Chaim Potok's "My Name is Asher Lev" and it's sequel. They are about an Orthodox Jewish boy who is also an artistic prodigy and his struggle to remain faithful to his religion while still staying true to his talent. Very good and very interesting look at faith and belonging.

Jill said...

Anne, your movie picks are ones I would never had heard of. As you can imagine, the most recent movie I have seen with MY SPOUSE is Blades of Glory! I still love him and yeah, I laughed pretty darn hard.

danielle said...

Trav and I watched Ushpizin a while ago and really loved it. Trav really has quite an affinity for Jewish people, but it was such tender movie. Also, I just love how they are so giving and forgiving of others and so willing to share everything they have. It also goes to show that you can have a really entertaining great movie with out crude humor etc. Although I have to say that I saw blades of Glory too, and it was pretty funny.

liz said...

Well I have just added these three movies, plus The Bicycle Thief to my queue. So, when I get through the other 130 movies on it (maybe in a year or so?), I'll have a fun foreign film fest waiting for me.

Emily said...

I love these foreign film recommendations, Anne. I'm so glad I have a cultured friend like you to lead me to these little-known gems. I love what you said about the Iranian people -- I just don't understand how countries can get angry enough at each other to go to war, knowing that most of the tragedies will happen to the innocent and unsuspecting. We've said this to each other before, but man's inhumanity to man is such a mind-boggling, heart wrenching thing. Why don't they put us in charge? We could send the tyrants to their rooms and make the bad people sit on the couch and recite the golden rule.