This movie adaptation is based on the best selling novel published in 2003, written by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Released in 2007, this critically acclaimed film was an international success.
The story revolves around Amir, the young son of a wealthy secularist father, aptly dubbed Baba, the son of Ali, Hassan and Rahim Khan.
An important scene in the beginning of the movie, we see young boys flying their kites. We are in Kabul in the late 70’s. Before the terrorism, chaos and all the invading countries. Young Amir, portrayed by Zekiria Ebrahimi , participates in filling the heavens with marvelous and beautiful kites along with several young boys of different ages. Some located on the rooftops of the sand and stone buildings, cutting their competitors kites down with swift and skillful maneuvers. The children dancing and celebrating along the streets, while engaging in duels. Young Amir’s friend’s name is Hassan, which was beautifully portrayed by Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada, son of the servant Ali employed by Amir’s father. After several years of employment at their household, they have practically become an extended family. Young Hassan is, to Amir’s great disappointment, by far the most skilled kite runner in the area, always knowing where to anticipate the kites landing spot.
The main characters, Hassan and Amir live in the city , not yet ravaged by war, vibrant and beautiful. Baba, Amir’s father is portrayed by Homayoun Ershadi, a good man at heart, a secularist and an intellectual who did not see the need nor use for the mullahs. He loved both boys, and to Amir’s dismay sometimes treats Hassan like his own son.
In the area they live, there is a bully a few years older than them, named Assef. Full of malice and jealousy towards Amir’s champion kite, his abilities and his kite runner. On a seemingly normal day, changing the course of everything, Assef and his gang hunt down Hassan, to beat him up and rape him. Amir tries looking for Hassan when he had been gone longer than normal, arriving just in time to witness the grizzly assault on Hassan. It appears like he wants to save him, but is unable to move or scream, and shamefully slinks away.
Then something strange happens. Amir is so wrought with guilt about what he witnessed being done to Hassan, that he morphs his feelings of guilt in to anger. He attempts to insult his friend, even throwing bad fruit at him, but to no avail, Hassan remains passive. Amir then tries to get Hassan in to trouble by making him look like a thief, by hiding his watch among Hassans’s possessions. However, the eternally selfless and perhaps masochistic Hassan decides to untruthfully take the blame to protect Amir’s reputation. But to Amir’s shock and dismay, Baba decides to forgive him, despite always having said that stealing is the biggest crime man can commit. Ali, Hassan’s father however, decides it is time they leave their home and resign from their position there, despite Baba’s loud protests.
The movie opens with present-day Amir, living in San Francisco, receiving a call from the past he had left behind him so many years ago. Rahim Khan had called to say: ‘You should come home. There is a way to be good again’. We are then treated to a breathtaking series of old memories and harsh realities, of the cruel present attempting to heal the dreaded wounds of his past. Now an adult, he is sent on a journey to try to repair the immense damage he unwittingly put in motion as a child.
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