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Long shot of 2 boys flying their kite in a busy, snowy street

We tend to understand films through the conventions that they use in telling their story. Conventions can cover such things as characters we expect to see, particular situations, themes. These are governed by the particular genre into which a film fits.

So, a western will have certain kinds of characters and situations that are particular to only that type of film. The same could be said for science fiction. These 'types of film' are normally referred to as genres.

Genre Student task

Critics who have seen the film describe it as a love story, a war film, and a detective story and also as a political story. Is it only one of these or is it a combination of all four?

In the chart below, type which conventions from each of the four genres appear in 'The Kite Runner' and which scenes show these conventions. You can print out this page when you're done.






Of the four genres listed above that you have looked at, try to rate which of them is the most important in the film and which the least from the overall point of view of the story of 'The Kite Runner'.

The genre of the film can also affect the way in which the story is told. Looking at 'The Kite Runner' we can see that the story begins half way through the events that are eventually told in the film. Amir receives the phone call from Rahim Kahn (his father’s friend). The rest of the film explores the events that lead up to the phone call and what happens after the call - the motivation for Amir’s guilt.