This Iranian director is extremely deft at the tugging the right chords of your heart. I happened to see two of his movies: Children of Heaven and The Color of Paradise.
Children of Heaven is about a young brother and sister living in a distant Tehran sub-urb. The boy accidentally looses his sister's shoes when he takes them to get it repaired. They decide to hide this fact from their father as he's financially broke at that time. They manage with the boy's single pair of shoes as both have different timings at school. The boy sees a flyer for a district-level under 10 running race. All his hopes are now pinned on the third prize: a pair of sneakers. I cannot believe that so much could be done around a pair of worn-out shoes! Heart-warming, unexpectingly funny, moving. In summary, Fantastic!
The Color of Paradise? A 9-year old blind boy wants to know the color of paradise thru his finger tips. A selfish father wants to get rid of this unfortunate child to better his prospects at a second marriage. But the boy has a loving granny who cares a lot. Once when the granny is away, the father sends away this boy to a professinal blind carpenter. And all that is left to see for the boy, thru his fingers is: different types of wood! At the end, the granny and the boy both see the color. They find that it is bright. An Intensely Emotional movie experience.
Both movies showcase rural and sub-urbian life of Iran which is very different from the usual axis of evil picture painted by Uncle Sam Propaganda machine.