Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kite Runner an attraction with film club members

We screened Kite Runner on Mar 9th. The screening attracted 15 audience -after screening was suspended due to the Malaysian General Elections during the last screening date. My report after the screening :

The Kite Runner screening tonite (Mar 9th) attracted 15 audience -which is 1
month after the last screening. The last screening-supposedly 2 week ago,
was skipped due to commitment in the Malaysian General Elections by most
members of the Film Club.

Kite Runner is a recent make -telling the story of a political emigrant
from Afghanistan now settled in California. The main character left
Afghanistan with his father after the Russian invasion. He was persuaded to
return to Afghanistan by a discovery that he has a young close family member
left behind in Afghanistan-and he wanted to bring the relative to
California. The film exposed the atrocities of Taliban who were in power
then eg stoning to death of adulterous citizens. After some encounter with
the Talibans he managed to bring the young relative back.

The story explore the psychology of the millions of political emigrants all
over the world eg are they putting saving themselves above saving their
previous country? An encounter with an orphanage manager brought home the

The film managed to catch public imagination because it is set in the
background of policy debates on US/Western policy around Afghanistan. While
promoting human rights seems defensible if not laudable the sacrificing of
thousands of human life by a policy based on human rights and
anti-terrorism, seems to be self-contradictory. A more discerning,
sensitive policy seems overdue-even as of now.

The making of film apparently had to skirt around numerous sensitivities eg
the film was shot in Sinkiang of China, and numerous participants of the
film have to live out of the country. It is a film of our time -if we
consider that anti-terrorism policy of the US had `terrorised' numerous
humanistic concerns both in and out of US. The `export' of the violence to
Pakistan seems to indicate that the `war on terror' had help spread more
violence and counter violence, up to this day!

GIven the theme that this film delve in it is surprising that the film uses
a treatment which is more literary, symbolic and poetic than the usual
action pack Hollywood treatment. At times the film even seems to be drifting
aimlessly-but the ending definitely managed to bring the poignanacy of the
film's subject into focus. The kite competition (where kite players compete
to cut other kites in the sky so as to remain the only one left)was used in
the film to symbolise the rule of the strong played out in the Afghanistan
society. The kite runner refer to the one who run after a kite which has
been cut off by a rival).

It was a highly watchable and engaging film.

Review by Ong BK
(The review attracted some responses from various members at the e-group-join in the e-group to read more).