Afghanistan: The Culture Ministry has quietly banned the importing of "The Kite Runner," a film based on the best-selling novel about childhood betrayal, ethnic tension and sexual predation in Afghanistan.
The book by Khaleed Hosseini
Latif Ahmadi, director of the state-run company Afghan Film, which is the authorized importer of films, said in response to news media inquiries that the ministry had formally notified theatre owners in Afghanistan three months ago that the film, which was shot partly in Afghanistan, would not be allowed to be shown here.
Ahmadi did not specify the reasons for the ban or why it was not announced publicly at the time. But he said, "Some of the film's scenes will arouse sensitivity among some of our people."
There has long been concern about angry reaction in Afghanistan to the screen adaptation of the novel, particularly a pivotal scene in which a boy is raped.
In late November, Paramount Pictures, the studio that released "The Kite Runner," spirited the film's four young actors out of Kabul to the United Arab Emirates for their own safety.
The Kite Runner’s Hamayoun Ershadi
Ahmadi said the novel, by the Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, had not been banned. The novel is written in English, which most Afghans cannot read.
Paramount has long maintained that the only way Afghans might see the movie would be on bootleg DVDs, which officials say routinely show up in the country soon after movies open in India.
"We never had any intention to distribute the film in any form in Afghanistan," Megan Colligan, a studio executive, said Tuesday. She declined to comment on the ban.
@2008/ NEW YORK TIMES