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The Kite Runner

There is a Way to Be Good Again. 

Year: 2007 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Marc Forster 
Starring: Khalid Abdalla, Homayon Ershadi, Saïd Taghmaoui  
An image from The Kite Runner

Few countries have known more rapid changes in terms of government and culture over the past few decades than Afghanistan. This makes it the ideal setting for intense stories of friendships, growing up and homecomings; it allows a proper study of characters, of what remains the same while things around you dramatically change- A story of resistance when a strict Sharia rule is enforced.

The Kite Runner knows how to take advantage of this unique setting to show an extremely moving story: in the early '70s, Amir and Hassan are best friends and share a passion - running kites. When Amir finds himself in a position where he has no choice but to betray Hassan, who will be irreversibly hurt by the betrayal, he leaves the country for the United States, where he graduates and leads a successful life. In Kabul, war breaks out, and twenty years later, when Hassan dies, Amir goes back to his home country, and goes in search of his old friend's son, taken by the now iron-fisted rulers of Afghanistan.

Based on a best-selling book by Khaled Hosseini, the Kite Runner is living up to the standards set by the emotionally charged novel, adding a new, graphical and metaphorical dimension to it. Director Marc Forster, known for Finding Neverland, takes a less conventional approach to his filming and delivers a very strong film, foregrounding particular elements throughout the different chapters - friendship, redemption, the untangling of the threads of one's life. This gives The Kite Runner a message that rings further than the backdrop of Afghanistan, to everyone's life.

Moving and personal, The Kite Runner is also enlightening in many ways. It shows a country which has of late only been seen through the war lens. It shows what the country used to be like before the Russian invasion - a free, progressive nation. Through a Western eye, it shows how quickly war can change the situation, so that even a simple childhood game like kite running, can be banned. It opens our eyes to a culture and a land which are relatively unknown, through breathtaking landscapes, and through a traditional-music score, which leaves us no choice but to feel drawn in and identify with the characters.

Instructive, moving, inspiring and original - the Kite Runner is a definitive must-see

Pierre Schramm

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Screenings of this film:

2007/2008 Summer Term (35mm)
2007/2008 Summer Term (35mm)