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Monday September 24, 2007 1:13 am

Will Rape Scene in ‘The Kite Runner’ Be Removed?

The Kite RunnerA best-selling novel’s film adaptation is now facing trouble only one month away from its theatrical release.  The Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hosseini (A Thousand Splendid Suns), tells the story of two friends who grew up together in Afghanistan.  In one important scene, Amir, does nothing to help his friend, Hassan, who is being raped.

Unfortunately, the family of the young boy who filmed this crucial plot point wants those frames left on the cutting room floor.  Rape is considered completely undignified and against Afghan culture.  If the movie is seen in their country, they worry they’ll be ostracized or harassed for making Afghans look poorly.  They don’t think people will be able to separate fact from fiction.  According to 12-year-old Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada, the actor who was paid $10,000 for the role, he was never given a script and would not have accepted the job had he known about the violent scene.  (Why he chose to shoot the scene anyway is not made clear.  The family admits they did find out about the rape several days before it was filmed.) 

Kite’s producers, Bennett Walsh and Rebecca Yeldham, claim they’ve spoken to the family since the scene was filmed last year.  According to Walsh and Yeldham, they were given the greenlight provided the content was portrayed in a sensitive manner.  Conversely, Ahmad’s father asserts the producers told him the scene would be cut when they were confronted about it.  He also says the company has promised to ‘take care of the family’ if they became victims of any backlash.

At this point, the producers have not said whether the scene will stand.  Meanwhile, the Marc Forster film is scheduled for release on Nov. 2nd.

Click here for an update on the now-delayed film.

Read More | USA Today



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