The Afghanistan Ministry of Information and Culture has quietly banned the import and exhibition of "The Kite Runner" in the country. According to reports, the banning decision was taken in fear that the film based on Khaled Hosseini's best selling novel about childhood betrayal, ethnic tension and sexual predation in Afghanistan might create dangerous tensions between religious sects.
On Monday, January 14, to Reuters, the director of the state-run company Afghan Film, Latif Ahmadi said "On the basis of the instruction of the Information and Culture Ministry, the 'Kite Runner' film's depiction and import has been banned." In his statement, Ahmadi also noted that the ministry had formally given out the restriction notification to Afghanistan theater owners three months ago.
He also gave out reasons stating, "Because some of its scenes are questionable and unacceptable for some people and would cause sensitiveness and would cause trouble for the government and people." Further, Ahmadi revealed that the novel written by the Afghan-American author had not been banned since it is written in English. Regarding the banning, Paramount Pictures' executive, Megan Colligan would not give comment, but she stressed, "We never had any intention to distribute the film in any form in Afghanistan."
The restriction on importing and previewing the Marc Forster directed-film didn't come out as a surprise since concern about angry reaction in Afghanistan to the adaptation film has long been thought of. The concern rose because firstly the film central story is the rape of a Shia boy by an older Pushtun boy. Then, another scene shows a boy forced to perform an erotic dance by a Taleban commander. The film starring Wali Razaqi, Said Taghmaoui, Shaun Toub and Nasser Memarzia centers on the friendship between Amir, the son of a wealthy Pashtun, and Hassan, the Hazara son of Amir's father's servant.