Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Redemptive Message of 'The Kite Runner'

Rarely do I come across a film that is emotionally and intellectually moving, interweaved with the joys, the shadows and the turning points of childhood. The Kite Runner, directed by Marc Foster and based on Khaled Hosseini’s famous first novel is one of those rare films that works on our minds and hearts without pretensions.

At a different level, the story has enormous depth in the echoes and parallels to the family history of Abraham-Sara-Isaac on the one hand and Hagar-Ishmael on the other hand. In fact, (for those who have seen the film or read the book), I believe there is a redemptive meaning of this story for the present geopolitical Judaeo-Muslim conflict. Every political problem comes from an inner family conflict and every relational family conflict stems from a spiritual problem.

The Kite Runner is a story that hints at a spiritual drama behind the complex family history of the father Baba having a child – Hassan - with his servant’s wife. But instead of banishing the servant’s son from his household, it is Amir, his legitimate son who deceptively banishes Hassan out of their household. The rest of the story basically tells of the redemption of Amir from his past guilt (of not helping his best friend Hassan and of falsely accusing Hassan of theft.)

This story is amazing because it could be based anywhere in the world. We may live in a peaceful and prosperous country but if we are not vigilant and spiritually strong, we too may destroyed by external forces or internal forces.

It is not a coincidence that, in the story, the invasion of Afghanistan by the Russians happened after Amir’s betrayal of his servant friend and his lying to his father. The departure of Hassan and his servant father from the Baba household is the beginning of the end of Afghanistan. Hassan, by the way, comes from the Hazara tribe, a despised minority group.

Would it be safe to say that the beginning of troubles for any nation on earth invariably starts when the rich and powerful injure and mistreat the weakest and defenseless minority? The Kite Runner starts with child-like hope which leads to a tragedy and ends with redemptive hope.

Likewise, it is my belief that our country Malaysia is close to coming to terms with her past (and present) sins and the hope of redemption is waiting at the door. A line that echoes throughout the film is "there is a way to be good again."

I highly recommend people, especially Malaysians, to see the film or read the book if not for the sheer enjoyment of a well-written, political-family thriller.

1 comment:

Tang Weng Heng said...

The movie wis good. But the book is excellent. Interesting blog. Sure will visit again

Do You Want To Know God?

Do You Want To Know God?
Say this: Heavenly Father, I have sinned against You. Forgive all my sins. I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose again. I give you my life to do as You wish. I want Jesus to come into my life & heart. In Jesus's name. Amen