In the 70's in Afghanistan, the Pushtun boy Amir and the Hazara boy Hassan, who is his loyal friend and son of their Hazara servant Ali, are raised together in Amir's father house, playing and kitting on the streets of a peaceful Kabul. Amir feels that his wise and good father Baba blames him for the death of his mother in the delivery, and also that his father loves and prefers Hassan to him. In return, Amir feels a great respect for his father's best friend Rahim Khan, who supports his intention to become a writer. After Amir winning a competition of kitting, Hassan runs to bring a kite to Amir, but he is beaten and raped by the brutal Assef in an empty street to protect Amir's kite; the coward Amir witness the assault but does not help the loyal Hassam. On the day after his birthday party, Amir hides his new watch in Hassam's bed to frame the boy as a thief and force his father to fire Ali, releasing his conscience from recalling his cowardice and betrayal. In 1979, the Russians ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The book the servant boy, Hassan, was a harelip (cleft upper lip), but that was left out of the film because it would have required two hours of makeup every day, it would have been difficult for the boy to act in the makeup, Director Mark Forster didn't want to put the boy through it, and it wasn't essential to the script. See more »
In the film, when Amir's father is buried, a wood coffin is used. Muslim burial rituals do not permit that. Rather, cloth coffin is used to wrap the dead, then he/she is deposited in the grave on the body's right side with face revealed and directed to Makkah. See more »
[explaining Sohrab's presence]
You see, General Sahib, my father slept with his servant's wife, and she bore him a son named Hassan. Hassan is dead now. That boy sleeping in the other room is Hassan's son. He's my nephew. That's what you tell people when they ask. And one more thing, General Sahib: you will never again refer to him as "a Hazara boy" in my presence. He has a name, and it's Sohrab.
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I just watched this film at an advanced screening. I had not read the book, and knew nothing of the story, but went because the book was voted "Book of the Year" by two local colleges. So I cannot compare the book with the movie as others have done.
In short, I thought this was an incredibly moving story. The acting was believable, and the insight into Afghan culture and political history was both interesting and shocking. My oldest friend is Iranian-American, and so I felt an affinity for certain Middle Eastern values and traditions that were portrayed in the movie, as they reminded me of the times I spent with his family.
The themes of friendship, family, human values, and courage under fire are universal, and are well developed in the film. I won't list the plot details, as these can be obtained elsewhere. But based on the film's technical aspects, the acting, and, above all, its heart-wrenching story, I would definitely recommend this movie.
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