Friday, October 05, 2007


kite runner controversy

i think this issue is getting a fair amount of press, but in case you haven't heard about it, imo it's an interesting, discomfiting, and distressing controversy.

i'm interested in whether the filmmakers really went through with the film in good faith. would it have been wiser and/or more respectful to use u.s. actors? counterintuitive, but maybe so...

if anyone happens to see any really good defenses or condmenations of the filmmakers, i'd love to see them. also, if you haven't read the book, i recommend it.

the gist of the current situation:

"Ahmad Jaan [the father of one of the film's child stars] says his fears are two-fold - that the film will worsen relations between Hazaras and the dominant Pashtuns (both the boy rapist and the principal character Amir are Pashtun); and that his own family may be in danger when the film comes out, because of Afghan concepts of dishonour."

bbc article:

nytimes article:

npr story (which i haven't listened to yet and which may give a more in-depth report):

i understand all the complicated political/ethnic issues with this scene being in the movie. what i don't understand is this:

"According to a New York Times article last week, Ahmad Jaan Mahmidzada, the actor's father, said his son did not receive a script detailing the scene. The boy, in several other news reports, said he never would have taken the role had he been made aware of the rape scene. The film's producers, who met with the family before shooting, contend that the scene was rehearsed twice, including once in front of Ahmad Jaan.

Screen Actors Guild members are paid $2,634 per week for principal speaking roles. The Afghan child actors, who were filmed on location in China, were paid between $1,000 and $1,500 per week for their services. The average per capita income in Afghanistan is around $300 per year, according to the World Bank. "

--todays SF gate article

are they just trying to save face? who agrees to be in a movie based on a book without reading it first? did they just do it for the incredibly amount of USD and now they are feigning ignorance to protect themselves? perhaps that really didn't know it would cause such an uproar and now they're lying to save face, but it seems like the parents of the child actors are more to blame for this than anyone, which makes me angry because now the children are in danger.
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