and international best-selling novel by
Khaled Hosseini comes the Oscarand two-time
nominee The Kite Runner, now
available on DVD... PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR EMOTIONS TURNED INSIDE OUT. The Kite Runner
is a terrific and deeply moving film that cannot fail to stir your blood with
anger at injustices and melt your heart with compassion for the sin of being
The Kite Runner takes place over a number of decades starting
in 2000 in peaceful San Francisco and is set against the changing backdrop
of America, Pakistan and both the Soviet invasion and the rise of the Taliban
in war-torn Afghanistan. The Kite Runner has the central story of the
unlikely friendship of two boys from different backgrounds in Kabul, and the
unswerving loyalty of one of them.
Based on Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel, the film explores the relationship
between the privileged young Amir (Zekiria Ebrahimi) and Hassan (Ahmad Khan
Mahmoodzada) the Hazara kite-runner who gives the film its title
who is the son of the house-servant Ali (Nabi Tenha).
It is a friendship that Amir's father actively encourages, but he is disappointed
that his son shows no signs of being able to stick up for himself. He wants
Amir to have morals and tells him: "When you kill a man you steal a life; you
steal a wife's right to a husband and their children's right to a father. When
you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth."
Pledged to their friendship, the boys do everything together and, like normal
boys, go to the local cinema to watch The Magnificent Seven and act out
scenes from the film dreaming of meeting Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson.
But that normality is shattered when Hassan is subjected to a brutal and shocking
attack by an older boy, Assef (Elham Ehsas). Amir is too afraid to intervene
an act of cowardice that leaves him so deeply ashamed that it has devastating
consequences and drives a wedge between the two boys, despite his father warning
him prophetically: "Take care not to let it fester; time will only make it worse."
Amir is further tormented by the knowledge that Hassan would never have deserted
him had the situation been reversed and unable to face his demons or
confide in either his father (Homayoun Ershadi) or his mentor and close family
friend Rahim Khan (Shaun Loub) he plots to have Ali and Hassan dismissed.
Amir and his father are forced to flee Afghanistan ahead of the Soviet army
in December, 1979 and when Amir witnesses his father bravely standing up to
a border guard who is demanding payment in kind from a young woman it is a stark
reminder of his own weakness. Forced to hide in a dark, almost airless petrol
tanker during their journey to Pakistan, Amir recites a poem to take his mind
off his discomfort: "If we come to sleep we are His drowsy ones; And if we come
to wake we are in His hands…"
From Pakistan, Amir's father takes him to a new life in the United States where
the adult Amir (Khalid Abdalla) graduates, marries Soraya (Atossa Leoni) and
sets out on his path as a writer.
But Amir is still haunted by his betrayal of Hassan and returns to his unstable
homeland of Afghanistan to attempt to right the wrong and in doing so faces
the utmost danger. He is warned: "Kindness is gone from the land and you cannot
escape the killings". Careless of his own life, Amir risks falling into the
merciless hands of the Taliban and its iron-fisted rule in his determination
to do the one thing that might begin to make amends to both Hassan and Ali.
His mission leads him into the path of an old enemy and he discovers family
secrets and learns of the dreadful compromises that have had to be made in the
occupied and war-torn Afghanistan. But he opens up his heart to the life-changing
consequences of his bravery.
A traumatic film in places with a few disturbing images, The Kite Runner
is a remarkable, life-affirming story that celebrates the bonds of friendship
and family, forgiveness, loyalty, courage and redemption. It also acknowledges
facing up to devastating mistakes and thoughtless betrayal; powerfully combining
suspense with universal themes that transcend times and places. It is a dream
of flowers blooming in the wilderness that was once the peaceful streets of
Directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Monster's Ball), the film
received widespread critical acclaim and an Academy Award-nomination for Best
Original Score as well as Golden Globe nominations for Best Foreign Language
Film and Best Original Score, along with three BAFTA nominations for Best Film
Not In The English Language, Best Music and Best Adapted Screenplay. The haunting
music is by Alberto Iglesias; Director of Photography is Roberto Schaefer ASC
and the Screenplay is by David Benioff. The film also features Qadir Farookh
as Soraya's father, General Taheri, and Nasser Memarzia as the Orphanage Director
Marc Forster brings to life The Kite Runner from the pages of Khaled
Hosseini's bestseller, with a globally-diverse cast and crew mixing a
remarkable group of non-actors from Afghanistan and Central Asia with an accomplished
Kite Runner is now available to buy on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment
(released on 2 June, 2008). RRP £19.99 | Cert UK 12/EIRE 15 | 5.1 Dolby Digital
Surround Sound | Running Time 123 Minutes.
Special Features: Words For The Kite Runner; Images From The Kite
Runner; Public Service Announcement with Khaled Hosseini; and The Theatrical
"The Kite Runner is a terrific and deeply moving film that cannot
fail to stir your blood with anger at injustices and melt your heart with compassion
for the sin of being human" MotorBar
Author Khaled Hosseini says it is the story of two boys whose lives are turned
upside down by war, chaos and personal misdeeds. It is also a testament to the
power of the written word and how it can transform lives. Afghanistan is at
a crossroads and there is extreme poverty and hardship but there is also hope
for the people. That hope partly rests with humanitarian aid bringing a stable
and more secure environment. For more information about the help needed for
Afghanistan, go to www.takepart.com.