n. 12
dicembre 2008


Altri articoli disponibili


«The hunter of kites »
Let us read the film together

courtesy of TERESA BRACCIO


trasp.gif (814 byte)

trasp.gif (814 byte)

trasp.gif (814 byte)

trasp.gif (814 byte)

Technical data

Original title: The Kit Runner
Genre: Dramatic
Director: Mark Forster
Interpreters: Khalid Abdalla (Amir), Atossa Leoni (Soraya), Shaun Toub (Rahim Khan), Zekiria Ebrahimi (Amir giovane), Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada (Hassan giovane), Homayoun Ershadi (Baba), Said Taghmauoi (Farid), Ali Danesh Bakhtyari (Sohrab). Nationality: United States
Distribution: Filmauro
Year : 2008
Origin: United States (2007)
taken from the homonymous romance by Khaled Hosseini
Arrangement of scenes:  David Benioff
Photography (Scope/in colours ): Roberto Schaefer
Music: Alberto Iglesias
Montage: Matt Chessé
Time: 131'
Production: William Horberg, Rebecca Yeldham, E. Bennett Walsh
DVD: Euro 15,99

Note: Candidate Golden Globe 2008 as best Foreign Film and for the best sound column 

The plot

The hunter of kites is taken from the homonymous romance of the American writer of Afghani origin, Khaled Hosseini. The film unfolds through the latest thirty years of the Afghani life, which sowed destruction and death all over the country: the end of monarchy and the Russian invasion, the Taliban regime and today’s situation. The story is that of Amir and Hassan, two young friends belonging to different ethnic and social classes. The first is a son of the most influential Pashtun of Kabul, the second is his little Hazara servant. Amir and Hassan are inseparable and their passion for the kites strengthens the bond even more. But one day, a dramatic event upsets their life and their friendship: Amir is present at the rape of Hassan on behalf of a group of teppists, without intervening to his help. After the invasion of Afghanistan  by the Soviet troops, Amir runs away with his father to the United States. There he grew to be a man, realising the most important phases of his life: school, matrimony, profession of  writer. However, the repentance of not having helped his friend will keep on covering his new existence like a shadow.  On receiving a non expected phone call, Amir understands that the time has come for him to go back to his country. He does not find his world in Kabul, not even his friend. Besides the phantasms of the past and of his conscience, he is welcomed in Kabul by the discovery that Hassan is his brother and that his death has left his son in the hands of violence. A hostile and cruel reality, where beauty is banned and the kites do not fly any more.    

Let us cover the phases once again

«I became the person I am today at twelve years, on a gelid winter day, in 1975. I remember the precise moment: I was crouched  behind an almost collapsing clay wall and was peeping into the path of the iced torrent. This happened many years ago, but it is not true, as many say, that the past can be buried. In fact, the past clasps the present tightly with its clutches. I have been peeping, hidden into that desert path, for the past twenty-six years and today I become aware of it”. These words were pronounced by an adult Amir who has been living in America for twenty years among the memories of his childhood whose contours have never been lost by him. These words throw light on a tormented past, but also on the suffered decision of returning as a pilgrim to the land of friendship and betrayal. A backwards pilgrimage to find memories and regrets once again; a journey of purification and deliverance within one’s own heart and history. On the background of the actors, the film covers afresh the historical journey of Afghanistan that, in these latest thirty years, has lived the gradual destruction of its culture: With massacred and tortured bodies, with feelings and ideas of those who have survived.  On his return  to Kabul, Amir will find not only the old senses of guilt, but also a desolate country, inhabited by human wreckages which have lost beauty and joy. His perturbation before the past, his desire to fill in the vacuum  and absences, enwrap and drag the spectator along an interior journey towards the discovery of  obscure aspects of life.    It is a struggle made up of errors and ransoms that we conceal in the corners of our souls, without always being aware of it. The mind of Amir, full of colours and far off perfumes, of old and unexplored knowledge, becomes a refuge for the secret part of self, which is common to everyone of us.  

Let us reflect on the words

by the author of the book Khaled Hosseini. «I have come back to Afghanistan after 27 years. I left it when I was eleven years old and have come back at thirty-eight. I have really felt like Amir who says, “I feel as if I were a tourist in my own country”. I, too, have experienced this sensation, “7 years are too long a period of time. Afghanistan has fought a war against the Soviets, enormous changes and so on and so forth; there have been the horrible years between the mujaheddin, the Taliban, the 11th September, thus on my coming back, on one side I felt like Amir in the book and in the film, in the sense that I recognised the quarters, the people and the music. There is a scene in which Amir says “This place has the same odour as that it had long ago”. On the other side the places were very much changed and I, too, had changed, so much as it would be stupid to simulate of being still part of this context. I have truly felt as an outsider when I have come back to Afghanistan, though at the same time I have felt of coming back home.  Thus, it has been somehow a schizophrenic experience. The persons I have met in Kabul have not allowed me to feel a stranger; they have opened their heart to me, asking about my life, welcoming me warmly, with no antagonism as, instead, I expected. However, I have never pretended to be of this context, because in reality I am not in it”.

From the communication of the  Paramount vantage. «The four little actors of  the ‘Hunters of kites’ left Afghanistan after the recommendations of different ONG (non government organisations) and of Afghani experts”. The life of the two protagonists might have been in danger, thus it was decided to postpone the projection of the film, so that the young actors might expatriate. Their security and tranquillity have always been our priority and we are happy of having taken them to a secure and welcoming place before the presentation of the film.

Of Theresa Sarti Stradi, Emergency president, “Until we decide to fight violence with violence, there will be no way out, but only death and destruction. The people of Afghanistan have experienced this even too much”

Of Latif Ahmadi, director of the state organism Afghan Film, «on the basis of the instructions given by the Ministry of Information an Culture, the Hunter of Kites is banned. Some of its scenes are discussable for some persons and could provoke reactions and problems for the government and the population”.

Pastoral use

The Director Mark Forster goes again with creative faithfulness along the passionate and involving history of the homonymous book: The hunter of kites, The film proceeds through an investigating plot which covers various thematic aspects: father and children, friendship a cheating, fear and courage, betrayal and redemption. The whole thing is covered by the devastation of the country, Afghanistan, annihilated in its own cultural patrimony and every certainty of future perspective. The passing forwards of images takes us from the United States to Afghanistan and vice-versa, in a fascinating reticulate of sensations, in which stories are confused and the tragedy of the people materialises. Forster creates again skilfully  the far off time of Amir’s childhood, a time full of life, wrapt in a frame made up of unforgettable moments spent with father and friends in a Kabul that exists no more. The competitions of kites are revived in his fantasy  as in the time of his secure and happy infancy. A welcoming place made up of hospitable environments, of land burnt by the summer sun and the biting wind of winter. The film is a hymn to the wounded memory, that unfolds through sensations and memories full of regrets and of a painful certainty that the motherland, in whose sky yesterday  the splendid colours of the kites shone, today is covered with blood and of death. The kites will come back to fly, but in the sky of the United States. The hands and the heart of Amir palpitate in synchrony, while he takes again the thread of the kite and of its past, finally unbinding the old and painful repentance. The flying of the kites, in the fascination of a multicoloured entwining, becomes an embrace of life and the flight a freeing ransom that opens us to hope in a better future.    

Thematic: Children; Family –parents children; Literature; Politics-Society; Power; History.

Evaluation on behalf of National Centre of Evaluation film by the Italian Episcopal Conference: Acceptable/ problematic *

The film in the printing press

«Taken from the bestseller of Khaled Hosseini, it is a transposition of a great narrative power. Poetic, emotional, spectacular, moving. With the premise that it is always dangerous  to have read and loved a book from which a film is taken, it is unavoidable to give an  account of it. First of all, we must say that The hunter of kites by Mark Forster is a very beautiful film: intense actors, fascinating historical reconstructions, powerful narration. Yet, the complex perturbance, that the bestseller of Khaled Hosseini has been able to arouse in the reader, is not completely returned”   (Cristina Borsetti, www. film.tv.it).

« The story of an infantile cowardice -paid with a long expiation and finally with an act of generous courage- runs on the background of Afghanistan tormented by the Soviet invasion and by the dominion of the Taliban.  Mare Forster illustrates a dramatic romance with millions of copies” (Claudio Carabba, Corriere della Sera Magazine, 10 April 2008).

«To adapt the very beautiful story narrated by the writer Khaled Hosseini, the Director Mark Forster chooses the simplest and most direct way of sentiment. He does not allow himself to be tempted by the historical saga  nor by style exhibitions, pointing everything on the faces of the little protagonists. Overwhelmed by sorrow, we shall take for ever in our eyes the snub little face, a little crooked, of Hassan, from the Hazara ethnic class (Ahmad Khan Mahrnoodzada), the prodigious hunter of kites, friend and faithful servant of Amir, peaceful up to sacrifice. Equally vibrant are the air images of Kabul (reconstructed in China) dominated by the vote (or flight) of the flying deer. The remaining part of the film goes straight to the purpose: to narrate the Historical sorrow of the Afghani people dried up first by communism and then by the Taliban, together with the feeling of guilt in Amir, who has not known how  to defend the aggressed friend” (Piera Detassis, Panorama, 3 April, 2008).

«The arrangement of scenes reveals a solid and severe commitment. Faithful to the text, but intelligently, it exposes its salient phases with a happy essential style, minding above all to express its sense and climate, more than the bookish scheme. The finale, perhaps more optimistic than the way the literary author had seen it, yet anyhow with dry lyric accents,  finishes by moving the hearts.” (Gian Luigi Rondi, Il Tempo, 28 March 2008).

«The hunter of kites by the eclectic Mark Forster, taken from the bestseller of Khaled Hosseini, is a very correct adaptation, inhabited by just faces and a wise montage between past and present. In some moments it returns the enormous power of the papery history. In other moments (the banal acting of Amir’s father), the many fans of the romance will twist the nose. Perhaps it should have required three hours. Anyhow “it is a work that flies high without ever falling down”. (Francesco Alò, Il Messaggero, 28 March 2008).

Courtesy of  Teresa Braccio
Centre of Paoline Communication and Culture e
Via del Castro Pretorio, 16 - 00185 Roma

  Torna indietro