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The Kite Runner

The Kite RunnerFrom the critically-acclaimed
  and international best-selling novel
 
by Khaled Hosseini comes the
 
Oscar and two-time Golden Globe
  nominee The Kite Runner, now
  available on DVD...


PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR EMOTIONS TURNED INSIDE OUT. The Kite Runner is a terrific and deeply moving film that cannot fail to stir your blood with anger at injustices and melt your heart with compassion for the sin of being human.

The Kite Runner takes place over a number of decades — starting in 2000 in peaceful San Francisco — and is set against the changing backdrop of America, Pakistan and both the Soviet invasion and the rise of the Taliban in war-torn Afghanistan. The Kite Runner has the central story of the unlikely friendship of two boys from different backgrounds in Kabul, and the unswerving loyalty of one of them.

Based on Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel, the film explores the relationship between the privileged young Amir (Zekiria Ebrahimi) and Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada) — the Hazara kite-runner who gives the film its title — who is the son of the house-servant Ali (Nabi Tenha).

It is a friendship that Amir's father actively encourages, but he is disappointed that his son shows no signs of being able to stick up for himself. He wants Amir to have morals and tells him: "When you kill a man you steal a life; you steal a wife's right to a husband and their children's right to a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth."

Pledged to their friendship, the boys do everything together and, like normal boys, go to the local cinema to watch The Magnificent Seven and act out scenes from the film — dreaming of meeting Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson. But that normality is shattered when Hassan is subjected to a brutal and shocking attack by an older boy, Assef (Elham Ehsas). Amir is too afraid to intervene — an act of cowardice that leaves him so deeply ashamed that it has devastating consequences and drives a wedge between the two boys, despite his father warning him prophetically: "Take care not to let it fester; time will only make it worse."

Amir is further tormented by the knowledge that Hassan would never have deserted him had the situation been reversed and — unable to face his demons or confide in either his father (Homayoun Ershadi) or his mentor and close family friend Rahim Khan (Shaun Loub) — he plots to have Ali and Hassan dismissed.

Amir and his father are forced to flee Afghanistan ahead of the Soviet army in December, 1979 and when Amir witnesses his father bravely standing up to a border guard who is demanding payment in kind from a young woman it is a stark reminder of his own weakness. Forced to hide in a dark, almost airless petrol tanker during their journey to Pakistan, Amir recites a poem to take his mind off his discomfort: "If we come to sleep we are His drowsy ones; And if we come to wake we are in His hands…"

From Pakistan, Amir's father takes him to a new life in the United States where the adult Amir (Khalid Abdalla) graduates, marries Soraya (Atossa Leoni) and sets out on his path as a writer.

But Amir is still haunted by his betrayal of Hassan and returns to his unstable homeland of Afghanistan to attempt to right the wrong and in doing so faces the utmost danger. He is warned: "Kindness is gone from the land and you cannot escape the killings". Careless of his own life, Amir risks falling into the merciless hands of the Taliban and its iron-fisted rule in his determination to do the one thing that might begin to make amends to both Hassan and Ali.

His mission leads him into the path of an old enemy and he discovers family secrets and learns of the dreadful compromises that have had to be made in the occupied and war-torn Afghanistan. But he opens up his heart to the life-changing consequences of his bravery.

A traumatic film in places with a few disturbing images, The Kite Runner is a remarkable, life-affirming story that celebrates the bonds of friendship and family, forgiveness, loyalty, courage and redemption. It also acknowledges facing up to devastating mistakes and thoughtless betrayal; powerfully combining suspense with universal themes that transcend times and places. It is a dream of flowers blooming in the wilderness that was once the peaceful streets of Kabul.

Directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Monster's Ball), the film received widespread critical acclaim and an Academy Award-nomination for Best Original Score as well as Golden Globe nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Score, along with three BAFTA nominations for Best Film Not In The English Language, Best Music and Best Adapted Screenplay. The haunting music is by Alberto Iglesias; Director of Photography is Roberto Schaefer ASC and the Screenplay is by David Benioff. The film also features Qadir Farookh as Soraya's father, General Taheri, and Nasser Memarzia as the Orphanage Director in Afghanistan.

Marc Forster brings to life The Kite Runner from the pages of Khaled Hosseini's bestseller, with a globally-diverse cast and crew — mixing a remarkable group of non-actors from Afghanistan and Central Asia with an accomplished international cast.

The Kite Runner is now available to buy on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment (released on 2 June, 2008). RRP £19.99 | Cert UK 12/EIRE 15 | 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound | Running Time 123 Minutes.

Special Features: Words For The Kite Runner; Images From The Kite Runner; Public Service Announcement with Khaled Hosseini; and The Theatrical Trailer.

"The Kite Runner is a terrific and deeply moving film that cannot fail to stir your blood with anger at injustices and melt your heart with compassion for the sin of being human" — MotorBar

Author Khaled Hosseini says it is the story of two boys whose lives are turned upside down by war, chaos and personal misdeeds. It is also a testament to the power of the written word and how it can transform lives. Afghanistan is at a crossroads and there is extreme poverty and hardship but there is also hope for the people. That hope partly rests with humanitarian aid bringing a stable and more secure environment. For more information about the help needed for Afghanistan, go to www.takepart.com.