I’m currently off work with a chest infection, so on my way home from the Doctors yesterday I decided to call into my local branch of Blockbuster to pick up a DVD to watch. I’m not a big fan of daytime TV (a government ploy to keep unemployment levels down, I’m sure of it) or Wimbledon (which is all the BBC seem to be showing) so thought a film might be an alternative to reading (which I’m also doing a huge amount of at the moment).
Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is a book that has been on my reading list for a fair while. I had heard that a film version had been made, but was pleasantly surprised when I found the DVD in Blockbuster.
We are told the story of two young boys, Amir and Hassan, who are growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan. The main action of the film starts in 1978 (at the time of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan) when Hassan and his father are working as servants for Amir’s father. The two boys are the best of friends and take part in a kite competition together in Kabul in which Hassan gains the title of the best kite runner in the city. Unfortunately the boys’ friendship is tested in an unimaginable way and they are torn apart.
Come the Russian intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, Amir and his father leave the country and head to Pakistan. The film later catches up with them in America where they have both settled. A phone call from the past brings Amir up to speed with what is happening in his homeland and he is called to do something that truly displays his devotion to his childhood friend Hassan.
I have to say that I absolutely loved this film and was completely absorbed into Amir and Hassan’s lives for a couple of hours. There are some incredibly poignant moments in the film (and I would strongly recommend having some tissues at the ready!) I also found the film incredibly informative though. We have all ready of the Taliban horrors in Afghanistan and the following British and American intervention, but I have to admit that it is something that I have previously very much taken at face value in the newspapers without thinking about the effect on everyday lives. I have to say that this is now something that I want to understand much more and I intend to seek out more on the topic to be able to understand for myself as to whether the lives of everyday people in Kabul have been changed for the better or not. I’ll also be aiming to find the original book that the film is based upon to again become absorbed in the lives of these two true childhood friends.