Is the ‘Kite Runner’ Reason to Leave Afghanistan?

The upcoming Paramount Vantage release The Kite Runner hits theaters on November 2nd and is described as an epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy to the atrocities of the Taliban reign. This story of redemption is based on the best selling book “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini and word is that it might not be so good for some of the folks involved with the making of the film.

Reported on NPR by Kim Masters there are fears for the children and their families based on the portrayal of deep ethnic divisions and that a key character is a child rapist. The report speaks to the father of Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada who plays young Hassan in the film, who is in fact the victim of the rape. The report goes on to say that in his culture the victim of such an assault would be so stigmatized that even playing the part carries risks.

Ahmad’s father told NPR, “They said the movie is about kite flying and nothing else. They didn’t give us a script, or a story, or a book; nothing that says what the movie is about.”

I really have to assume they had to know more about the film outside the fact that it was about kite flying. Then again I am using logic as a person that doesn’t live in a war zone and isn’t looking for any and all opportunity to do something other than run and hide.

Where the story runs into serious trouble in terms of Afghanistan and the Taliban is that the individual that rapes young Hassan grows up to become a Taliban leader, and crossing the Taliban is not something the Mahmidzada family seems interested in doing. While the film will not be released in Afghanistan the NPR report goes on to say that the DVDs are sure to show up and as a result Ahmad’s father worries they may have to leave the country, but may not be at serious risk if they don’t flaunt their role in the film.

To hear the entire report click here and then click on the Listen button next to Kim’s name.

The Kite Runner is directed by Marc Forster, to check out the trailer and more on the film click here.


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