Saturday, October 13, 2007


[HT: MUSE MACHINE, from this post]

For those of us who have read Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini's evocative book "The Kite Runner," the scene that sets the stage for the moral saga is a horrific one -- young Hassan, a boy from the despised Hazara tribe, is raped by vicious hoodlums while his privileged "best friend," Amir, runs away.

That quick but unforgettably shameful scene forms the center of the story that is both Amir's and Afghanistan's. Unable to face what he has done, Amir torments his friend until he is forced to leave the house and the city, while Amir himself wanders from Kabul to Peshawar to California, working out his guilt and finding finally a way to atone.

Now this most interesting and morally dangerous story has been made into an American film, and it was to be released early in November. Surely, since the story line will follow the book's, it will portray how the story illustrates traits that have too often characterized historic Afghanistan: cruelty toward one's fellow man, ethnic differences and hatreds, the search for a workable commune among so many different groups.

But something is happening with the film that is odd only to its self-absorbed American makers. The filmmakers, working with Afghan Film, the state-run film company, picked the boys to play Amir and Hassan from auditions of 5,000 young Afghans. And while the film itself was produced in China because of the tribal and sexual sensitivities involved in the story, no one seemed to think of what the Afghan response would be to the rape scene, even though it was relatively sensitively done.

The outcome today, according to press reports of the film and the Afghan response, is that parts of the film may be considered demeaning to the ethnic Hazaras, resulting in threats against the two child stars. The American studio has delayed the film's opening and offered to bring the boys to the United States this fall for the premieres and to later take them to the United Arab Emirates to live temporarily. Other members of the boys' families may also have to leave the country. {continue...}
[via Opinion - Georgie Anne Geyer, Yahoo News]

No comments:

Post a Comment