We watched this a couple of weeks ago now and the memory of it is still strong, burnished by this YouTube video.
It is a film about good and evil, about the weak and the strong, the poor and the rich, the past and the present. It is about the relationship between father and son, or mother and daughter, about being outside your country, about being discriminated against in your own country, about the power of stories, about betrayal and letting down those you love, and how the things we do not do can cause as much hurt as our actions. It is about cruelty and depravity, about love and redemption, about justice, and above all about the heart-breaking generosity of a little servant boy, Hassan, whom you will love and for whom you will cry before the film ends.
It is also about Afghanistan, and about secular and fundamental Islam, about ethnic division between Hasara and Pashtun, and about misplaced Communism, but all of that is incidental. What happend to Hassam could have happened anywhere in the world and the story would not have been very different. It is a myth-busting film that insists that we throw away our prejudices and recognise our shared humanity, replete with weakness, before anything else.
All four of us wept and all four of us will remember Hassan, played by Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada, and this film for a very long time. It does not matter if you have already read the book, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, or not. Three of us had, but two of us could not remember the plot, and the third thought knowing what happened only heightened the experience for her. The film is banned in Afghanistan.