When impoverished youth Ali (Hashemian) loses his sister's shoes — a beggar swipes them outside a market after Ali's retrieved them from a cobbler's shop — he and sister Zahra (Seddiqi) find themselves in a predicament. Their family is too poor to afford another pair, so the siblings hatch a bait-and-switch scheme to cover up the fact that they're missing.
Like so many Iranian filmmakers of the post-revolutionary generation, Majidi has the magic touch when it comes to crafting heart-gripping stories about youth and poverty in the tradition of De Sica's "Bicycle Thief." Ali and Zahra are at pains to keep the theft a secret from their harried father, but an opportunity arises when Ali enters a foot race at school. (Third prize: a new pair of shoes.) Disarmingly sweet and astutely observed, the Oscar-nominated "Heaven" is a sublime film for families to watch and reflect on as it reinforces gratitude for what we have.