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Film Series Examines Life in Iran

The 30th annual Oklahoma City University Film Institute’s film series will continue at 2 p.m. Feb. 5 with Majid Majidi’s “Children of Heaven” in the Kerr McGee Auditorium of the Meinders School of Business. The school is located at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

From Iran, the country most requested on evaluation forms from last year’s series, comes another film by Majidi. Some responses simply stated: “Anything by Majidi.”

The triumphant prize winner at many prestigious film festivals, this uplifting, crowd-pleasing story of family and love is also the only Iranian film ever to be nominated for a foreign language Oscar.

“Children of Heaven” follows the relationship between an impoverished brother and sister, Ali and Zahra, who are thrust into a difficult circumstance. They choose to solve their problem themselves without telling their parents. What follows is a tender, moving tale of compassion, determination and deep family love.

Critics place the film in the must-see tradition of “Kolya,” “Cinema Paradiso” and “The Bicycle Thief.” The San Francisco Chronicle stated, “This is a transcendent film, deeply committed and beautifully wrought. It will make anyone who sees it look at the world with new eyes.”

The theme of this year’s series is “Compassion: The Radical Challenge.” It is based on Karin Armstrong’s book, “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.” The book will be available at the film showings.

Harbour Winn, director of OCU’s Film Institute and a coordinator of the series, said the theme is intended “to bring to our attention the most recent book of the most acclaimed scholar of comparative religion in the West. Armstrong exhorts us to understand that even though faith has been exploited to justify horrific atrocities in the world, the fundamental idea in religion challenges us to understand that compassion is inseparable from humanity.”

Admission to all films in the series is free. The series is supported by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and donations from the public.

For more information contact Winn at hwinn@okcu.edu or (405) 208-5472.

The remaining films and dates in the series include:

* Claudia Llosa’s “The Milk of Sorrow,” Feb. 19

* Kenji Mizoguchi's “Sansho the Bailiff,” March 4