Friendship and Redemption

I just watched a few years old movie “Kite Runner” based on a fictional story book by the same title authored Khaled Hosseini.  It is one of a couple of good movies I saw this year.  If you’re looking for some good movies to fill your holidays this year, I would recommend this one.

It tells a story of a bond between two Afghan boys, Amir who came from the higher class Pashtun, and Hassan from the lower caste Hazara.  They lived in the pre Soviet Afghanistan, and even though they were very close friends at first, through some incidents they grew cold to each other and finally Amir accused Hassan of stealing his watch.When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan a few years later, Amir and his wealthy father left for Pakistan, and from there they came to the United States.  They asked one of his father’s friends, Rahim Kahn, to take care of their estate in Kabul.  To make long story short, many years later Amir received a call from Rahim who now lived in Peshawar, Pakistan after the Taliban ruled over Afghanistan.  The dying Rahim asked Amir to come to Pakistan.

Amir went to Pakistan to see Rahim, and Rahim told Amir that Hassan was shot on the back of his head by the Taliban because he was defending Amir’s house in Kabul after Rahim had hired him as a caretaker for the house.  Rahim also told him that Hassan had a boy who now lived somewhere in an orphanage in Kabul.  Moreover, he also told Amir that Hassan was actually his half brother.  He also gave a letter that Hassan wrote.  “There is a way to be good again.” the old and dying Rahim told Amir.

Feeling guilty that he has betrayed his close friend, Amir went to Afghanistan to search for Sohreb, Hassan’s boy.  He wanted to redeem himself of his wrongdoing!  I wouldn’t spill the beans for you by telling the rest of the story.

I like this movie for its absence of vulgar language even though some scenes may be too violent for small children.  The culture and environment in Afghanistan in the 1970’s  was a reminiscent of that in which I grew up- first and foremost it was a predominantly muslim country, children flew kites on the street, traditional market place, house servants, etc.  Watching this movie brought back some childhood memory.  I also was reminded that life can change practically over night because of political movement as in this movie, natural disaster, or other acts of God.  Tthis movie provides a fair picture of Islam.  While it is true that most terrorists nowadays are Muslims, yet we need to remember that a great majority of Muslims are peace-loving people.  In one part of the movie, Shari’a law and its implication was shown practiced by the file and rank Taliban official where a woman was stoned to death for allegedly being unfaithful to her husband.

The most profound point of the movie is about redemption.  It is interesting to note, that, according to one of the articles that I read about this movie, “in a public appearance, Hosseini, who is muslim, remarked that he was compelled to write this story from a Christian worldview because redemption is not a concept found in Islam, yet he finds it an undeniable truth, one without which this story could not be told.”  (“Finding Grace in Fiction” by Mindy Withrow, Modern Reformation, July/August 2007)

Redemption is an exclusively Christian view of salvation.  It is only in Christianity that we learn of a loving God who took on flesh and came down from Heaven to redeem His people.  Christ forsook his glory, made himself nothing, taking the form of the servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross (Phil 2:6-8).  Christ did this to redeem his people.  It is solely by his act that “we can be good again”.  Yes, there’s a way to be good again, through Christ alone.  SOLUS CHRISTUS.

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