Re. Part 2 of the question on cultural references in CHILDREN OF HEAVEN.
Before water was available on tap in Tehran, the courtyards of most
houses had a reservoir or pool from which water was taken for daily
use. (Drinking water was usually purchased from street hawkers or
"watermen"). Of necessity, these pools were fairly deep and drowning in
such pools was a major cause of infant mortality. In the 1950s, when
the first money from oil became available, the government modernised the
water system. As the reservoirs were no longer needed, they were often
converted into shallow decorative pools - cool retreats in a hot dusty
city. Perhaps the pool is a symbol of prosperity, of times of change
for the better.
Two questions about whether I am missing some cultural subtexts in
Majid Majidi's CHILDREN OF HEAVEN:
1. Is there a special significance to the title (the way, say CHILDREN
OF PARADISE refers to upper balconies in theaters)?
2. The final image in the film, of the boy Ali soothing his blistered
feet in a goldfish pool, is humorous and ambiguous to my Western eyes,
but is there a cultural context for the image that I may be missing?
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