Kite Runner Kids Flee Country

Filmmakers feared reprisals against Afghan actors in controversial scene
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2007 2:26 PM CST
The performances of child actors in The Kite Runner have been critically hailed, but they were relocated outside Afghanistan following fear of reprisal over a rape scene in the movie.   (%uFFFD Paramount Vantage)
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(Newser) – Four child stars of the upcoming movie The Kite Runner have been whisked out of their native Afghanistan to protect them from possible backlash over a rape scene in the movie, the Guardian reports. Paramount Pictures helped relocate the boys to the United Arab Emirates after months of worry and complaints from parents, who say they thought the film was about kite flying.

Paramount has acknowledged it erred in hiring local actors, and a spokesman said the impact of the intertribal rape scene "was not fully understood in terms of Afghan culture and history." The kids' performances are nothing to apologize about, however—critics laud the young actors as a bright spot in the film adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's book.