Instructor Carmenmara Hernandez-Bravo hosted the the Foreign film premiere of the Iranian film “Children of Heaven” on March 22.
The film was chosen to coincide with the Persian New Year that took place on March 20.
“The media’s portrait of Iranians is very negative and Majid Majidi, the director of the film, shows a wonderful community with strong family values rather than superficiality, materialism and selfishness,” said Hernandez-Bravo commenting on why she showed the film.
The night started with Hernandez-Bravo bringing an assortment of foods not commonly found in the typical American diet. Mostly Persian varieties of food including, flat breads, Date fruits, and Persian cakes.
The movie opened with the main character named Ali doing errands for his family including picking up his little sister’s mended shoes. Unfortunately a trash man accidentally tosses the bag containing the shoes into his cart when Ali was preoccupied. Ali and his sister Zahra plan on sharing Ali’s pair of converse until they can find the missing pair of shoes.
“I wanted to celebrate Iranians at Saddleback with a reception and an award winning film. With so many misconceptions of this beautiful culture, I wanted the audience to leave with different idea than the way media portraits them,” said Hernandez-Bravo.
“Children of Heaven” was filmed in Iran in 1997 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, but lost to the Italian film “Life is Beautiful” “Children of Heaven” was filmed in Farsi but included English subtitles. Foreign Language classes are required to watch these film events for their classes.
“I wanted my audience to see that what is important in life is love and not so much material things and after the film finished we stayed and talked about it,” Hernandez-Bravo said. “Every single person agreed that the film was outstanding and refreshing, with a beautiful family relationship and the sacrifices they do to help each other.”