Through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, a forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being protected by her adoptive parents.
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 kiting 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 kiting, 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
Finnish censorship visa # 206074 delivered on 8-1-2008 See more »
(at around 22 mins) When people from the Middle East speak English, they frequently use the word "too" where native American speakers interpret the use of "too" as meaning "excessively" and would instead use "very". Where the subtitles translate what Baba tells Rahim Kahn as "You come here too often" he certainly means "You come here very often" and would not insult Rahim Kahn by meaning "You come here excessively often." 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 have read both the book and saw the movie today. The storyline is so powerful that almost any script or screenplay would have done justice to it. So nothing much there. However, this is still a beautiful movie because it makes one think and feel, just like the book. Watching it is not like watching a documentary on a failed state and feeling sympathetic towards people suffering under an oppressive regime, but is like watching any other common man's story unfold, across generations, across continents. Amir's cowardice, his guilt, his dilemmas and finally his choosing a way of redemption could have been a story of any of us. There isn't a single infallible character to look up to and idolize but all of them are gray, just like all of us.
Another important observation is that the movie does a great job of chronicling the lives of Afghans through the twenty some years of turbulent political scenarios. The vibrant, care-free childhood represents Kabul before the Russian invasion and the desolate, shattered remains of the city echo what the Taliban has done to it.
The child actors deserve 'thumbs up' all the way. They can put any matured actor to shame.
If you have not yet seen the movie or read the book, just walk into the theater keeping in mind that you are going to witness a multi-layered story woven on a multi-colored fabric of human emotions and sentiments. This movie is not meant to stir anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban feelings but to feel the trials of human existence.
I read some of the external reviews linked to the site and I must confess I do not see the point in writing reviews that summarize the storyline like a distant spectator and point out technical details about amazing cinematography or something similar. At least for this movie, one should try to connect to it rather than judging it objectively.
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