Directed by Marc Forster
Release Date: Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Director: Marc Forster
Cast: Ian Charleson, Ben Cross, Ian Holm, John Gielgud
Kite Runner is an intense drama set in ‘70s and ‘80s era Afghanistan. The film is based on the popular book of the same name written by Khaled Hosseini. It was his first book and a rousing success, pulling in awards and becoming a best seller in the United States. The movie follows the interweaving plot of the book, never losing track of the detailed narrative and characters. Like the book, it accrued mostly positive reviews, garnering an Academy award and several Golden Globe nominations.
The foreign turmoil of the movie echoed the concerns of many Americans in 2007 when the movie was released. The theme is unrest, with the Afghanistan monarchy falling, the Soviets invading, Afghan residents fleeing, and the founding of the Taliban. In a case of art imitating life, the movie had to be filmed mostly in China due to the violence in Afghanistan. Additionally, the film’s release had to be delayed due to concern over the well being of the child actors acting out the brief sexual violence in the film.
Kite Runner’s story follows Amir, a Kabul native whose parents are well off. Amir can’t let go of the fact that he witnessed the brutal rape of his friend and son of his father’s servant Hassan. Hassan was protecting a kite that was a gift for Amir. Amir can’t handle the guilt of not stepping in and frames Hassan so that his father would be fired. These key events drive the movie, which follows Amir’s life through historical events and his personal successes and failures, all the way until he is reminded of the kite runner Hassan. From there he must seek personal redemption.
Kite Runner is a movie about unrest, betrayal, and what it means to move forward. It is well acted, especially by the child actors that the early segment focuses on. Emotionally grueling and historically robust, the movie is as educational as it is moving, revealing the difficulties that the fictional Amir and his real-world people have faced. Like Roger Ebert, who called this movie the fifth best film of 2007, I highly recommend checking it out along with the book it is based on.