• Publication date: July 15, 2011

A Path to Redemption That Leads to Kabul The Kite Runner: There�s always a second chance

Before the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 the country was a vibrant place, full of color, cosmopolitan neighborhoods, and smiling faces. Baba was a wealthy entrepreneur living in Kabul, with a staunch secular and anti-communist outlook. He lived alongside his servant, Ali, a less privileged though incredibly kind and loyal man. With Ali came his son, Hassan, a similarly loyal individual whom Baba greatly adored, and indeed treated as his own son.

Before the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 the country was a vibrant place, full of color, cosmopolitan neighborhoods, and smiling faces. Baba was a wealthy entrepreneur living in Kabul, with a staunch secular and anti-communist outlook. He lived alongside his servant, Ali, a less privileged though incredibly kind and loyal man. With Ali came his son, Hassan, a similarly loyal individual whom Baba greatly adored, and indeed treated as his own son.

Baba has a son named Amir whose mother passed away during his child birth. Though Amir desperately seeks his father's admiration he more frequently receives unmentioned disdain. Baba is ashamed that his son cannot fight for himself, allowing Hassan to protect him instead. Additionally, Amir seems to have no interest in improving his fighting abilities, instead aspiring to become a popular author � much to his very practical dad's dissatisfaction.

Luckily Amir has another father figure: Rahim Khan, a man close to Baba�s age though much more compassionate. With his help Amir never forfeits his dream of literary stardom. For fun, he joyfully plays alongside Hassan flying kites high into the Kabul sky. This talent eventually earns him an award, finally meriting his dad's respect.

As usual Hassan retrieves the kite for Amir when it reaches the ground, far from its initial launch point. In the process he encounters Aseef, who alongside his foes demands Hassan to hand over the kite. Fervently loyal, Hassan refuses to give Aseef the kite, and he is severely beaten in the process.

After Hassan fails to reappear quickly as usual, Amir goes to look for him. He does not see Hassan, but hears his cries; shamefully, he is too afraid to help his friend, who has saved him many times before. Worse yet, Hassan does not save him from rape, which would emotionally scar the boy for life.

Amir�s guilt increases as months pass; he avoids Hassan, and actually begins to hate his existence. He throws spoiled fruit at Hassan, and even frames him for theft. Out of extreme loyalty to Amir he falsely admits to the theft, and along with Ali leaves the home permanently and in shame.

Fast forward years later. Baba and Amir have fled Afghanistan following the Soviet invasion and now live in California's Bay Area. Dad, once the inhabitant of a mansion, now lives in a run down apartment. After becoming terminally ill he would die in this impoverished condition. Despite his downgraded lifestyle, and even his father's sickness, Amir is living well. With his dad's help, he even manages to secure a marriage agreement with a lady he deeply adores.

Still, he feels remorse for what he did to Hassan years earlier. A call from Rahim one afternoon provides a remedy for his guilt, though it will involve sacrifice, and quite possibly death. Amir hastily heads to Kabul, and unearths a stunning discovery that changes his perception of not only Hassan, but also his father. Indeed, Amir�s experience in Afghanistan not only lifts the guilt from his shoulders, but also spreads additional light upon his future.

The Kite Runner was produced with a modest budget, though managed to earn $73 million worldwide. The film also impressed critics, and it subsequently earned an Oscar and two Golden Globe nominations. The soundtrack features Islamic singer Sami Yusuf, as well as Western tunes by Midnight Oil and Lita Ford.

Year: 2007

Duration: 128 mins

Genre: Drama/Romance

Starring:

Khalid Abdalla

Zekeria Ebrahimi

Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada

Homayoun Ershadi

Director: Marc Forster

Rating: Rated PG-13 for strong thematic material including the rape of a child, violence, and brief strong language.