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The Kite Runner

Pleasures in viewing and writing

Medium shot of 2 boys walking with a kite through a snowy street The 2 boys walk through a marketplace

The Kite Runner is a film that has been adapted from the novel of the same name written by Khaled Hosseini.

Filmmakers from every country in the world have often used existing novels as sources for films. There have been thousands of films that have been based on novels. But often these films have been severely criticised - they don't show us exactly what is in the novel. Certain characters and events have been 'left out'.

However, we should not look on these things as a way in which to criticise filmed adaptations, instead of looking at differences as a starting point, let us look at the different types of pleasures that films and novels offer us and also at the ways in which we experience adaptations and the different pleasures that such experiences can offer us.

If we read a book, then we will sit quietly, with no other distractions, possibly putting down the novel for a day or two and then picking it up again. Possibly we might re-read a few pages, or turn back to earlier in the novel to refresh our memory of what has happened.

This is a very different experience to watching a film in a cinema. There we will sit for, in the case of 'The Kite Runner', for about two hours and the story unfolds before our eyes. We sit in darkness surrounded by other members of the audience.

Questions for students

Try to make a list of how both media tell a story and what effects each uses to guide us through the story.