Movie Review: The Kite Runner

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[Warning Plot Details Revealed].

Beautiful film. I never read the book, and I’m not into comparing books to films anyway. But a beautiful film. It captured very vividly the tense freedoms of 1978 (just before the Soviet Invasion) and worse the ghoulish horrors of the Taliban. The stark haunting beauty of the Afghan landscape.

The movie follows the life of Amir, a son of privilege, who befriends (and then betrays) the Hazara servant boy Hassan.  Hazara are minority Shia in Sunni dominated Afghanistan.  Hassan is the name of the eldest son of the Shia Iman Ali (Hassan’s father’s name is Ali, good Shia that they are).

Living in Canada and being an American, both of whom have troops stationed in that country, it’s a deeply personal film for me.  Particularly given that my opposition to the Iraq invasion centered on the fact that it would cause the US to neglect the war in Afghanistan and more importantly the helping to build the nation of Afghanistan, from the chaos and fear of the sadistic Taliban.

Instead the Taliban have re-grouped, have become the symbol of Pashtun resistance and heavily involved in narco-trafficking.

The movie deftly portrays immigrant life in the US, from a tribal society where the tribal-village-small town consciousness continues to perpetuate itself across the seas.  Families that must move across the entire continent in order to escape all the Virginia Afghans knowing about a mistake the daughter made at 18.  I know a lot of people from whom that is daily life.  The prying eyes, the rumor-mongering, and pervasive “talking” (what will they say….?).

The enslavement is both from without—The Soviets, the Taliban–and from within (the racism, prejudice, and petulance of humans).   It is a true eulogy from the country of Afghanistan.  A cry for hope–but as the storyline only takes us to 2000, we don’t know, aren’t given an opinion, as to what the future will bring (the present now).

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Published in: on December 26, 2007 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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