Friday Film Festival: Children on Film

This week, a departure from my usual film recommendations. As you know, my husband and I are lovers of foreign films and I’d like to share a few of our favourites. I’d also like to focus on younger actors this time. Some of these are little known (except in their own countries) or long-forgotten.

These are inspirational stories of hardship, loss and redemption. As well, I’ve included a little surprise that I came upon on YouTube. I hope you’re glad you stopped by! Happy Film Festival Friday on Saturday!


Children of Heaven (1997) dir. Majid Majidi

One of the most enjoyable foreign films out there, this Oscar-nominated film tells the story of an Iranian boy who loses his sister’s shoes and tries to recover them. The final sequence is like one of the great Hollywood sports films, but with more heart and innocence. You couldn’t possibly NOT love this movie!

A Time For Drunken Horses (2000) dir. Bahman Ghobadi

A fatherless 12 year old Iranian Kurd boy sets out with a horse-team of contraband smugglers through a mountain pass between Iran and Iraq to earn enough money for a life-saving operation for his brother. This will break your heart. Make sure you have a box of tissues on hand.

Time of the Gypsies (1988) dir. Kusturica

An incredible film from one of my favourite directors, Emir Kusturica. Desperation and destitution sends a young man from Sarajevo on a journey of self-discovery in order to save his family. A most amazing and absorbing film. I can’t recommend this one enough!

Babel (2006) dir. Alejandro G. Iñárritu

This Oscar-nominated film from 2006, tells a number of inter-woven stories and each story has a connection to children. In fact, the catalyst of the film occurs when two children in the hills of Morocco are fooling around with a rifle and accidentally strike a tour bus, seriously injuring a woman inside. The woman’s two children, back home, end up on a wild tour with their caregiver south of the border, in Mexico, with a very serious result. As well, we witness the sad efforts of a Japanese girl trying to gain attention anyway she can while her father appears oblivious to her angst. Well worth your time.

A Real Treat: Child Actors Jack Wild and Mark Lester of the musical, “Oliver!” reunite with the cast members and re-enact one of the big numbers. I really enjoyed seeing this and hope you do too!


12 thoughts on “Friday Film Festival: Children on Film

  1. Alwalys interesting to learn more about movie from our resident expert!! Being dyslexic, I find films with subtitles challenging, and I often miss too much of the action while making sure I get all the dialogue. Babel is the only one on your list Ive seen, but enjoyed it (if that's the right word for a movie like that!) a lot.


  2. This made my day but made me feel about 146 years old. Isn't Fagin great. I think Ian Anderson and Mick Fleetwood thought so too. I haven't seen any of these movies, Kat. Thanks. I see Time of the Gypsies at the local rental place. Maybe I'll get it. Said I wouldn't blog this weekend, but here I am anyway. Have an nice couple of days.


  3. Both Children of Heaven and Time of the Gypsies look great. I don't think I could handle having my heart broken right now, but I wouldn't at all mind having it warmed. Thanks, Kat.


  4. They sound interesting. I'd imagine one could learn much about other places and peoples by watching these films.Hope you're having a pleasant weekend, Kat! Is it a holiday like here in the States?


  5. Oh thank you Kat This is the kind of stuff I like. I am especially interested in the Gypsy movie I have a kind of fascination with Gypsies eventhough I can't tell you why. Hope I can find it here in NZ


  6. “Time of the Gypsies” looks reeeally good and I like the story-line/plot; I'll have to look for that one. And I have a copy of “Babel” but haven't watched it, as yet( my film pile grows! ). Okay, I cheated and watched the trailer. Breaking it out! Elle Fanning is in this one. And it can be said; that some of the best acting is done by the kids. Thanks for the share, Poetikat!


  7. what a great list, I'm taking it with me to see if the cleveland public library has any of them…. odds are good that they do – babel is the only one I've seen, although time of the gypsies sounds familiar, and may have seen it…but no worries a good flick is worth watching more than once!


  8. Kat I haven't seen these films but there are two films that stand out from my youth that had kid actors in them. One was Chalk Garden with Hayley Mills, and the other was “Flight of the Doves'. You would love both. Flight of the Doves is an Irish film. Very charming and very suspenceful. Both films are hard to find although I believe that FLight of the Doves may be on Google Video.


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