Monday, March 03, 2008

The Kite Runner

Afghanistan's recent history is a tale of tragedy. The Kite Runner,a film directed by Marc Foster from the novel by Afghan writer Khaled Hosseini beautifully and poignantly captures this tragedy. According to people who have been there, Afghanistan is a beautiful country. It is hard to comprehend that such a place is the stage of a tragedy. (The movie was shot in China but you can be forgiven for believing that it was in Kabul)

The tragedy is religious fundamentalism. This cuts across the characters in the film. The kites which represented Afghanistan's tradition and the innocence of its children were put down, their strings cut.

But fundamentalism doesn't guarantee sinlessness but more hideous sins. The movie deals with child abuse and rape, but that isn't even mentioned in the film but the truth is extremely odious.

Afghanistan's tragedy is a result of the cold war games of the Russians and the Americans. The Soviets are gone and America is at war with the mujahedin they financed. Will there be a chance to be good again?

The movie doesn't paint a negative picture of Islam. The movie paints a picture of the evil of fundamentalism. It is also directed at Christians and Jews and all other religious and reminds viewers of what evil can result from perverted religion.

The movie has a theme of redemption. That is the 'feel good" aspect of the film.

BTW I used to fly kites when I was a boy. I made kites and at one time won in a "sabong"or kite fight at the Quezon Memorial Circle. (The QMC was then an open space) March is the traditional time when Pinoy kids fly their kites.

Now I don't see many kids fly kites. Maybe it is due to climate change. Has it become less windy?

But after seeing "Kite Runner", I never thought that kites are so central to Afghanistan's identity.

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