Monday, July 14, 2008

The Actors of The Kite Runner

Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images
Author Khaled Hosseini poses with child actors who starred in the film version of his book The Kite Runner. Zakria Ebrahimi, the child in the center, had to be relocated to Dubai because of the harassment he received for his role in the movie.

The highlight of my Christmas Eve 2007 was seeing The Kite Runner at the movie theater. I never know what to expect when one of my favorite books is made into a movie. It's my tradition to buy the soundtrack of the movies I like. So Mark immediately took me to Borders to buy the movie's soundtrack. Yes, I loved the movie and the music very much.

I figured the movie would stir some unhealthy emotions in Afghanistan. But, I never thought the backlash would go too far. Earlier this month, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reported for NPR:

The young actor, 12-year-old Zakria Ebrahimi, has been the target of threats from fellow Afghans who were offended by the movie, which includes a scene of child rape. The movie is banned in Afghanistan but nevertheless has circulated on pirated DVDs.

Paramount Pictures relocated four of the child actors in The Kite Runner to the United Arab Emirates for their safety shortly before the movie's release. But after months apart from his family, Zakria returned to Afghanistan. He is now unable to attend school or, for the most part, leave his house. His family believes the studio needs to do more to help.

All I can say is the Afghani road to reconciliation hasn't been reached yet. Still, those children shouldn't pay the high price for the pride of their countrymen. However, Paramount Pictures - with its influential lawyers - must do something before it's too late.

The Kite Runner,
The movie

The Kite Runner,
The soundtrack

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