While ‘The Sun’ is currently on display at the main competition section of the 77th Venice Film Festival, Xan Brooks, a Guardian writer specializing in cinema, took the chance to describe Majidi’s film as “a heart-rending story with unexpected depth of emotion.”
‘Sun Children’ follows the story of 12-year-old Ali and his three friends. They work hard to survive and to financially support their families. They sometimes commit petty crimes to make easy money. Everything changes, however, when Ali is entrusted to find a hidden treasure underground but must first attends the Sun School, a charitable institution that tries to educate street kids and child laborers.
Calling it as one of the finest films playing in this year’s Venice competition, Brooks further notes that “Midway through Sun Children, I felt I had a pretty good idea of its direction of travel, but that wasn’t quite it; Majidi tunnels deeper. In so doing, he exposes a subterranean world where there are no easy answers and few happy endings. Energetic and heartfelt, tipping towards tragedy, Sun Children crawls through the mud and emerges all the stronger. The quest is a red herring; the real treasure is the film.”
“The acting is broad, the plot gears often creak, but it has guts and heart and a grubby, street-smart charisma,” he also added.
Earlier this year, ‘Sun Children’ won the best film and best screenplay awards at the 38th edition of the Fajr Film Festival in Tehran.
The protagonists of the movie were themselves, former child laborers. The movie also stars well-known Iranian actors Ali Nasirian, Javad Ezzati and Tannaz Tabatabaee.
Majidi was the first Iranian director to receive an Oscar nomination for ‘Children of Heaven’ in 1996.