The Kite Runner Marc Foster

The Kite Runner Marc Foster
Based on Khaled Hosseini’s beloved novel, The Kite Runner follows two Afghan boys (one wealthy, the other poor), whose paths separate when the Soviets invade their country in 1980. Not your typical children’s tale, this is an honest, harsh movie about cowardice and courage. Affluent Amir (Zekiria Ebrahimi) flies kites with Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada). Hassan is a lower-caste Hazara, uneducated but fiercely loyal to the introverted Amir. As a kite-flying team, they are the best in Kabul, so good they spark jealousy in neighbourhood bully Assef, whose gang attacks — and rapes — Hassan. Amir secretly witnesses the event but instead of revealing the culprits he sabotages his friendship with Hassan. Soon after, Soviet tanks roll into Kabul, forcing Amir and his intellectual father, Baba (a superb Homayoun Ershadi), to flee their lovely home and escape to America with just the clothes on their back. Amir (Khalid Abdalla) grows up to be a writer, disappointing his father, who’s reduced to selling cigarettes in a San Francisco storefront. The film dwells too long in America but regains momentum when Amir is summoned back to war-ravaged Kabul to rescue Hassan’s son after the fanatic Taliban murder Hassan. By rescuing the boy, Amir finds courage in himself and cleanses his guilt. Wisely, both the two "making of” featurettes and the audio commentary by director Forster, Hosseini and screenwriter David Benioff steer clear of the film’s controversy. Multi-ethnic Afghanistan banned The Kite Runner for the rape and its perceived anti-Hazara sentiment. The producers had to smuggle the child actors out of Afghanistan over fears of a violent backlash. Instead, the DVD extras dwell on the adaptation from page to screen. There are no deleted scenes or outtakes, but the movie is more than strong enough for this DVD package to stand on its own. (Paramount)