Based on the novel written by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner beautifully illustrates the Islamic traditions and class customs of Afghanistan along with emphasizing the cultural conflict which can occur when Middle Eastern immigrants migrate to the Western World. Through Marc Forster’s exquisite directing, primarily in his use of normal lens filming, eye-level camera angles, and character exclusivity, viewers are allowed an astonishing human perception of the protagonist’s (Admir) emotions and his conflict with class divisions and the customs of Americans and Afghanis. Through dialogue between Admir and his friend, Hassan, viewers learn the significance of class and origin as seen through mention of Hassan’s Hazaran blood, a low social status in Afghanistan resulting in him being illiterate and bullied. When Admir betrays Hassan, viewers get a glimpse at the importance of honor and respect between friends in Afghani culture. When the Soviets take control of Afghanistan and threaten Admir’s anti-Communist father into leaving the country, they flee to America, and are confronted with both the loss of wealth and social status. Admir’s father, a once intelligent and well-respected aristocrat, is now forced to assume a much simpler and lower life as a gas station clerk. Unable to reconcile his past with his new life in America, Admir’s father desires to return to Afghanistan, but dies before he has the chance. Admir, however, returns to Afghanistan, where the Taliban does not warmly welcome him, to save Hassan’s son in redemption for his past inconsiderate acts. Overall, the film is extremely heart-touching, allowing viewers to sympathize with the tragedies of foreign cultures and immigrants attempting to integrate into our own culture.
by Nicholas Chevrefils