THERE IS A WAY TO BE GOOD AGAIN.
The adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s celebrated first novel where we follow the experiences of two boys in Kabul on the eve of the Soviet invasion, and years later when one of them breaks his exile and returns to the Taliban-infested home country on a risky mission, may be American but is nevertheless made with an honest and respectful interest in Afghanistan, its history and culture. A story about dignity, family and guilt that also gives us an idea of life as an immigrant in America. Technically well-made throughout and nicely balanced, with vivid childhood scenes in the beginning, and lots of tension in the last half-hour.
2007-U.S. 128 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by William Horberg, Walter F. Parkes, E. Bennett Walsh, Rebecca Yeldham. Directed by Marc Forster. Screenplay: David Benioff. Novel: Khaled Hosseini. Cinematography: Roberto Schaefer. Music: Alberto Iglesias. Cast: Khalid Abdalla (Amir Qadiri), Homayoun Ershadi (Agha Sahib), Zekiria Ebrahimi (Young Amir), Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada (Young Hassan), Shaun Toub, Nabi Tanha.
Trivia: Threats and security concerns affected the lives of the child actors for years because of a rape scene in the film.
Last word: “There were different motivations in terms of the way violence is handled in the film. One thing is that I always intended that the film be PG-13. I had to restrain myself, because it was important to me that the film reach a younger audience. It was the first time I read a story that dealt with that part of the world that was about forgiveness, healing, and atonement and not about violence and terrorism. Often in the West when we hear the word Afghanistan, we think about bin Laden and the Taliban we don’t think about the people who live there. It was the first time I read a story from there, which starts out with the people and not violence and terror. It was important to me to keep the violence restrained, because it’s only a part of the story. Those scenes are story points that move the film forward, but they’re not the main focus. That’s not what the movie is about; it’s about something else.” (Forster, Cineaste)