Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Kite Runner

I'd been putting off watching this movie. I feared it was one of those propaganda type films that would attempt to put Islam in a good light while demonizing all things Western. That was the case with an Islamic version of Oliver Twist I watched a few months ago in which all the good people were devout Muslims while Fagin and his thieving hoodlums were all Infidels.

The Kite Runner surprised me. Based on a book by Khaled Hosseini, the story is about a young man returning to Afghanistan to find the son of a childhood friend. In an act that requires the courage he regretfully lacked in his youth, the protagonist must contend with the Taliban to save the boy.

While there are subtle hints of Islam, there are also subtle hints of the destructiveness of religious fervor. A woman is stoned to death in a soccer stadium execution. Ironically, that disturbing, graphic scene has gained little mention, while a non-graphic scene of a boy being raped resulted in the movie being banned in Afghanistan. The Afghan government feared ethnic violence if the film was shown. There was no such concerns for the execution scene. It was Islamic Law, being carried out in an Islamic country.

The movie gives one a glimpse into life in Afghanistan, both before and after the rise of the Taliban. It is about betrayal and redemption, disgrace and honour, turmoil and peace. Certainly worth a rental.

(Cross-posted at SnappedShot.com)

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