Review of THE KITE RUNNER, a film worth seeing

I knew that THE KITE RUNNER was going to be intense, but I forgot that because I spent two months in Afganistan when I was 19, in 1975, it was going to really strike a vulnerable chord.

When I saw the words, “Kabul, 1977”, I was blown away with memories of being in that wonderful town. My most vivid one is when I first arrived, and a young man came up to me and started practicing his English on me. We had a nice conversation, and he offered to take me to his grandmother to meet her. I was always up for adventure and meeting the old people who really represented the old culture. After following him for a long time down winding, narrow streets and paths, I got kind of nervous. But he really was taking me to grandma!

I guess I am postponing sharing the powerful impact of this film. I had to weep and groan and wail and would have screamed if I wasn’t afraid of scaring the neighbors.  The scene where a child is beat up by older boys was just devastating to me. I am always deeply affected by seeing violence, but when children are hurt, I lose it. I had to cry out to Jesus in anguish, asking “why, why, why?”. I know intellectually why. Our Creator gave us free will and people have misused that free will.

I loved seeing the Hindukush mountains which also bring back vivid memories–like riding on a bus through the Khyber pass and looking straight down the mountain. I have always been afraid of driving on high mountain roads–and this was so intense because there were few if any guard rails, and very narrow, winding roads with bus drivers who almost always drove fast and as if there would never be another vehicle that could come the other way.  Obviously I did come out alive, but there were so many close calls.

Another scene that was so tragic was when the main character returns to Kabul after the Russian invasion, and then the Taliban take over. I felt so disgusted that there would be a “beard patrol” made up of men that made sure that all men had beards. The scene where the adulterous couple was stoned in the sports stadium in front of thousands of people was also heart wrenching, and I had to once again wail and weep and pray. I prayed both for the victims and the ones who so self-righteously hurt them. We are called to pray for our enemies, and these guys were so bad–how could they ever be happy or at peace. They must be living in pure hell.

I really appreciated the redemptive ending. I valued the qualities of forgiveness, loyalty, courage, and strength that were obviously valued in this movie. The acting was superb as was the directing. I even listened to the 45 minute talk by the author, director, and screen play writer. I enjoyed getting a sense of these men who did such great work, and I felt their compassion, caring, and desire to do good.

The best thing about this film is raising awareness of the challenges in Afghanistan, which are probably even worse now that us Americans have gotten involved in the fight.  It really makes me grateful for the fact that here in Fayetteville where there is a lot of difference of views, no one is forcing their view on the others with threats of violence. Sure, there is always work to be done in the area of appreciating and accepting differences–but the way the Taliban leaders act makes us all look like saints!

I was reluctant to watch this movie because I heard it was intense and I didn’t realize how many wonderful qualities it has. I highly recommend it to people who are willing to have a major emotional release. I would rate it R. I think the PG 13 is too liberal.

I would love to write a book, FINDING THE GOSPEL IN THE KITE RUNNER. There are so many of Jesus teachings found in this most eloquent and beautiful story.

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