Tuesday, July 17

Stranger Than Fiction

If you haven't read The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini), read it before you finish this post. You will not regret it :)

Dreamworks SKG and Paramount Pictures are scheduled to release the novel-based film November 2nd, 2007. Most people I've spoken with about this seem to share a common sentiment: A fear that this will become just another work of art destroyed by the clumsiness of Hollywood. Regardless, millions await the film's release with much excitement.

Despite how much I personally look foward to watching the film, I came upon some information that made me cringe and nearly sick to my stomach. The cast of young characters for the film was selected from schools and orphanages in Kabul, and upon learning this, I was happy that these children were given such an unusual opportunity; however, The Time (UK) published an article earlier this year that revealed details of the contracts the children were given.

"THEY should be the happiest boys in Afghanistan. Zekeria, Ahmad and Ali have been plucked from their home in war-ravaged Kabul to star in The Kite Runner, the long-awaited Hollywood film of Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel.

It is tipped to be one of the year’s biggest box office hits, but the boys will not be joining the ranks of Hollywood’s child-star millionaires. Two were paid £9,000 each while the other got £7,000, their parents lost their jobs and they now fear they will be kidnapped or hounded out of Afghanistan because of a rape scene in the film, which is released later this year."
-The Time (See second link below)

After reading the full article, I had no doubt left that the film was just another profitable business transaction, and, in line with our capitalistic culture, the labor of the poor is exploited to reinforce the wealth of the wealthy. The irony of a film based on a book that explores exploitation of the less fortunate, the guilt of one boy priviledged to comfort at the expense of another who simply lacked the birth-right to the same, is appauling. The injustice of what Dreamworks and Paramount are quietly enfranchising upon is abhorrently worse than the injustices depicted by the fictional plot of the novel. wth? this needs to be publicized--the studios will be making millions of dollars while child-actors of a war-torn nation are just put back to where they were found with lives altered worse than they were before "such an opportunity."

If you hear any updates regarding this situation, please leave it in the comments area. Thanks.

Where To Shoot An Epic About Afghanistan? China, Where Else?

Kabul Kite boys feel Hollywood Backlash

1 comment:

Furfura said...

I am disgusted.... and appalled. Wow, I just can't believe that!

But then again, what better could we expect from the corporate America. Just yesterday I was at a meeting with a bunch of researchers. I was just stunned when I realized their "only" concern was to get published and get more funding, and not so much about what they are actually doing to help any people.

I guess, it's all the same, whether it's hollywood, or our health care industries.