The Kite Runner Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the The Kite Runner script is here for all you fans of the movie adaptation of the Khaled Hosseini novel. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some The Kite Runner quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

The Kite Runner Script

San Francisco, California

- You ready?
- Yeah. Let's go.

- Is that what I think it is?
- I think so.

- You nervous?
- As long as they spelled my name right.

- You want a moment alone with it?
- I want you right here with me.

There it is.

There it is.

Your baby.

I'll get it.




Rahim Khan?

It is kind of you to remember.

I have missed you, Amir jan.

It's good to hear your voice.

You should come home.


I don't know if now's such a good time.

It's a very bad time,
but you should come.

There is a way to be good again, Amir.

Kabul, Afghanistan

Take the spool. Hold it right.

Give me string!

Hold the spool right.

- I cut him!
- Victory!


This way!

Where are you going?

Catch it, it's going this way!

We're losing it!

Trust me!

What are you doing here?

Come sit, Amir.

You're wasting time here.

The kite went the other way.

It will come this way.

- How do you know?
- I know.

But how?

Have I ever lied to you?

How should I know?

I'd rather eat dirt.

Would you really do that?

- Do what?
- Eat dirt if I told you to.

If you asked, I would.

But would you really ask me to do
such a thing?

Are you crazy?

You know I wouldn't.

I know.

Thank you, Agha sahib.

I want them
to start building tomorrow.

This should have happened a
long time ago.

Absolutely, Sahib!
And thank you.

The orphans of Kabul
will never forget you.


I suspect they will.

You know

the bureaucrats
will steal half the money.

Only half?

They've gotten lazy.

Hey, Mister Jaylawni

Conjure up the winds for me

You could have beaten him.

Me? Weren't you
watching Omar back there?

He never loses.

If you have the right kite,
you'll win the tournament this year.

With the victory of Saur Revolution

for the first time
in the history of this country

the political sovereignty
and political power have been bestowed

upon the Democratic Party
of the People of Afghanistan.

This will get bloody
before it gets better.

Usually a safe bet.

They say the Communists are
starting brawls at the university.

A student was stabbed last week.

I'm glad Amir's too young
to be involved in all this.


Trust me, he won't be
getting into any brawls.

Sometimes I see him playing on the
street with the neighbourhood boys.

They push him around,
take his toys from him,

but Amir,

he never fights back. Never.

So he's not violent.

You know what happens
when the other kids tease him?

Hassan steps in and fends them off.

And when they come home,
I say to him,

"How did Hassan
get that scrape on his face?"

He says, "He fell down."

There's something missing in that boy.

My friend,

children aren't colouring books.

You don't get to fill them
with your favourite colours.

He's not like you.
He'll never be like you.

But watch. He'll turn out well.

A boy who won't stand up for himself,

becomes a man who
won't stand up for anything.

Amir jan,

may I come in?

I wanted to say goodbye.

I'm going to Pakistan tomorrow.

That's a fine kite.

Hassan ran it down.

The boy's got a gift.

What are you working on?

A story.

May I read it?

It's not very good.

All the same, I'd love to read it.

Thank you, Amir jan.

I'll read it tonight.

He hates me

because I killed her.

My mother.


don't ever say such a thing.

Don't ever think it.

But it's true.

No, Amir jan.

It's a dangerous thing, being born.

Dangerous for the mother,

dangerous for the child.

Your father would die for you.

You know that,

don't you?

Amir jan.

- Come on, do it.
- It's wrong, Amir agha.

Do you have to be
so holy all the time?

Just one?

Just one.

You'd think one day he'd wise up.

You got your allowance?

Yeah, how about we see
The Magnificent Seven again?

We deal in lead, friend!

I'm a friend of Harry Luck's.
He tells me you're broke.

No. I'm doing this because
I'm an eccentric millionaire.

There's a job for six men

watching over a village
just south of the border.

How big's the opposition?

Thirty guns.

I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.

I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.

Harry tells me you faced bigger odds
in the Travis County War.

- Who's your favourite?
- Steve McQueen.

I like Charles Bronson.
Maybe someday we'll go to Iran.


Maybe we'd see him somewhere.

I could get his autograph.

- Charles Bronson's not Iranian.
- He's not?

So why does he speak Farsi
with an Iranian accent?

Where are you going, faggots?

What do you boys think:

If I paid you to be my friends,

would you really be my friends?
Or would you be my servants?

Gee, Assef,
if you were paying us,

that would make us your servants!

So I guess Amir has no friends.

We're not bothering you.


You are bothering me.

Afghanistan is the land of the Pashtuns.

We're the real Afghans.

Not this flat-nose Hazara.

His people pollute our homeland.
They dirty our blood.

If idiots like you and your father

didn't take these people in,
we'd be rid of them.

Please leave us alone, Agha.

Put it down, you motherless Hazara.

Leave us in peace.

Maybe you didn't notice,

but there are three of us,
and two of you.

And maybe you didn't notice
that I'm the one holding the slingshot.

Forget it.

We'll deal with these faggots later.

- What's this?
- Rahim Khan left it for you.

He liked it.

Liked what?

My story!

Well of course he liked it.
You tell great stories.

"Bravo," he wrote. Bravo!


Do you know what "bravo" means?

It's Italian for genius.

What's the story about?

It's about a man
who finds a magic cup.

And he learns that
if he weeps into the cup,

his tears turn to pearls.

He's very poor, you know?

And, at the end of the story,
he's sitting on a mountain of pearls

with a bloody knife in his hand
and his dead wife in his arms.

- So he killed her?
- Yes, Hassan.

So that he'd cry and get rich.

Yes, you're very quick.


Nothing, Amir agha.
Are you done with breakfast?


Well, will you permit me
to ask a question about the story?

Of course.

Why did the man have to kill his wife?

Because each of his tears
becomes a pearl.

Yes, but why couldn't he
just smell an onion?

The mullahs at school
say drinking is a sin.

They say drinkers will pay
when the Reckoning comes.

Do you want to know
what your father thinks about sin?


Then I'll tell you.

But first understand this
and understand it now:

You'll never learn anything of value
from those bearded idiots.

You mean the mullahs?

I piss on the beards of those
self-righteous monkeys.

They do nothing but thumb their prayer
beads and recite a book

written in a tongue
they don't even understand.

There is only one sin.
And that is theft.

Every other sin is a variation of theft.
Do you understand that?

No, Baba jan.

When you kill a man,

you steal a life.

You steal his wife's right
to her husband,

his children's right to a father.

When you tell a lie,
you steal someone's right to the truth.

There is no act
more wretched than stealing.

Do you see?

Yes, Baba.


All this talk of sinning
is making me thirsty.

Hassan! Hassan!

Go, he's calling you.

Happy Birthday.

It's made in America.

I figured, if you're
going to be my bodyguard,

you need a proper weapon.

Thank you, Amir agha.

Come on, let's go.

What does it say?

Amir and Hassan,
the Sultans of Kabul.

The Sultans of Kabul!

You want a story?

Rostam and Sohrab.

Not them again.
I've read you that one fifty times.

How about Rudabeh?

It's your book, Amir agha.

All right,

Rostam and Sohrab.
It's your birthday.

Your dad got a new car?

Isn't that the car they drive in Bullitt?

Steve McQueen!

I heard it was someone's birthday.

It's your day, Hassan.
Why don't you sit up front?

Are you ready for your birthday present?

- Is it a drawing book?
- Better!

- A toy gun?
- Better!

Uncle Saifo!

My brother!
It's been too long.

Everyone good?

It's his birthday, he can have any
kite he wants.

Here they are.

Take your pick.

I want that one.

We'll take it.

A good choice.

I was just lucky that time.

It wasn't luck, Amir agha.
You're better than him.

I know you're going to win.

You have too much faith in me.

Ali made the cauliflower
especially for you.

Yes. Every time I come,
he makes the cauliflower.

I know. You come here too often.

The tournament's tomorrow?

Are you and Hassan ready?

We've been practising.

Did I ever tell you
about the year I won?

I'm fairly sure you told everyone
in Kabul about the year you won.

Fourteen kites I cut down.

I think that's still a record.

Yes, yes, yes. Eat.

I think you're going to make
Agha sahib very proud today.

You think so?



It's really crowded.

I'm not sure it's
the best day to fly a kite.


It's a beautiful day.

It's the two of us
against all of Kabul.

I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.

Let's fly.

Put down the spool.

Take it!

Take it from under.

Okay, I'm under.

We cut him! We cut him!

Amir agha!

Go a little to your right.

We cut him! We cut him!

They could break your record.

Let's see.

Hold the spool right.

Take him, Omar!

Omar! Omar! Omar!


I cut him!

Victory! Victory!

- How many has he cut?
- I've counted twelve.

I think he wants Baba's record.

We can't let that happen.

Last one, Omar agha.

Pull your string forward.

Cut him!

It's just the two of them now.

Bravo, Amir agha!

You cut him!

We won! We won!

Amir, I'm going to run
that blue kite for you.

Hassan! Come back with it!

For you, a thousand times over!

What am I supposed to do with this?
You're the reason I got cut!

Have you seen
a Hazara boy come this way?

Wearing a red chapan.

I saw a boy running that way.
He had a kite in his hand.

- They've probably caught him by now.
- Who?

The big boys chasing him.

Where's your slingshot, Hazara?

You don't look so brave today.

But I'm in a mood to forgive.
What do you say to that, boys?

Very generous.

Especially after the
rude manners he showed last time.

Forgiven. It's done.

Of course, nothing is free in this world.

My pardon comes with a small price.

Nothing is free.

You're a lucky Hazara.

Because, today, it's only
going to cost you that kite.

Fair deal.

- What do you think, boys?
- More than fair.

Amir agha won the tournament
and I ran this kite for him.

This is his.

Loyal Hazara.

Loyal dog.

Before you sacrifice yourself for him,
think about this, Hazara:

Would he do the same for you?

Have you ever wondered why

he only plays with you
when no one else is around?

I said, "Why," Hazara!

Because, to him,
you're nothing but an ugly pet.

Something he can play with
when he's bored.

Something he can kick
when he's angry.

Amir agha and I are friends.


You fool. Enough of this.

Give us the kite.

Last chance.

As you wish.

Keep it.

So it will always remind you
of what I'm about to do to you.

Nothing is free.

He's just a servant's son.

I'm not sure, Assef.
My father says it's wrong.

Your father's a Communist.

And there's nothing wrong
about teaching this donkey a lesson.

Just hold him down.

Let's get out of here.

Where were you?
I was looking for you.

Let's go, Agha sahib will worry.

Good job.

Come here.

Well done.

Where's Hassan?

He went back to sleep.

The last few weeks,
all he wants to do is sleep.

After chores he just
crawls under his blanket.

Can I ask you something?

Did something happen, Amir agha?

Something he's not telling me?

How should I know?
Maybe he's sick.

People get sick, you know.

The mullahs want to rule our souls

and the Communists
tell us we don't have any.

More importantly, El Cid is playing.
We could go tomorrow.

Tell Hassan to come with us?

He's not feeling well.

Really? What's wrong with him?

He's got a cold or something.

Ali says he's sleeping it off.

I haven't seen you two
playing together in weeks.

What happened?

Nothing. He's just been a little sick.

Hassan never gets sick.

Whatever's going on, you should
deal with it before too long.

Take care not to
let these things fester.

Time will only make it worse.

What are you reading?

It's for little kids.
I just... I'm trying to learn.

I'd rather hear one of your stories.

I'm done making up stories.


Because they're stupid.

I don't think they're stupid.
I love your stories.

What would you do
if I hit you with this?

What would you do?

Hit me back!

Hit me back!

Hit me back!

Hit me back.

You're a coward.

Blood's good for the trees.

Come on, birthday boy.
Let's go inside.

Ali, is everything ready?

Don't worry, it will be soon.

- Move it back a little.
- Yes, of course.

Have you ever thought
about getting new servants?

Why would I want to do that?

I guess you wouldn't.
It was just a question.

I grew up with Ali.

My father took him in,
loved him like his own son.

Forty years he's been with my family.
Forty goddamn years.

And you think I'm just
going to throw him out?

I've never laid a hand on you,

but you ever say that again...

You bring me shame.

And, Hassan...

Hassan's not going anywhere.

Do you understand?

I said, do you understand?

Yes, Baba.

You bring me shame.

Massoud jan, how are you?

- Welcome.
- Happy birthday.


Hello, Amir jan. Happy birthday.

Hello, Amir jan. How are you?

It is modest and not worthy of you.

Happy birthday.

Hassan said your copy was
getting old, missing some pages.

Thank you.


Happy birthday, Amir jan.

Happy birthday.

- What a splendid suit.
- Great party, Amir.

Aren't you going
to thank Assef?

Thank you.

Please, enjoy.

Amir jan.

Shouldn't you be
entertaining your guests?

I didn't know you drank.

Turns out I do.

But only on the most
important occasions.

You know you can tell me
anything you want. Anytime.

I know.

Here, I almost forgot.

For your stories.

Come. You're missing your party.


Have you seen my watch anywhere?

The one I just bought you?

Don't tell me you already lost it.

No. I know I had it in my room.

I'm sure it'll turn up somewhere.

What's wrong?


When you finish your work,
come inside with Hassan.

Yes, Agha sahib.

Did you steal Amir's watch, Hassan?


I forgive you.

We're leaving, Agha sahib.


We can't live here any more.

But I forgive him.
Didn't you hear me, Ali?

Life here is impossible
for us now, Agha sahib.

We're leaving.

I don't care about the watch.

I don't understand
why you're doing this.

I'm sorry, Agha sahib,
but our bags are already packed.

We've made our decision.


Haven't I provided for you?

Haven't I been good
to you and Hassan?

At least tell me why.

I forbid you to do this!

Do you hear me?

I forbid you!

Respectfully, you can't
forbid me anything, Agha sahib.

We don't work for you any more.

Soviet Invasion
Pack a bag.
Only what you need.

Hurry up!

- They'll come for me.
- We don't know that.

Read your history, my friend. By the
time we know it, it will be too late.

You know how I am.
You know how I talk.

Everyone in Kabul has
heard me cursing the Communists.

Will you watch over the house for me?
We'll be back when the Russians leave.

What if they don't leave?

Everyone leaves.
This country is not kind to invaders.

And you, my friend?

Where will you go?

Pakistan, first.

After that, wherever
is safest for the boy.

The smugglers want
five thousand a head

for safe passage to Pakistan.

I'm fairly sure they won't take cheques.

What about a Mustang?

He wants a half hour with
the lady in the back of the truck.




Please ask mister soldier sahib
to show a little mercy.

Maybe he has a wife, too.

It's his price for letting us pass.

I want you to ask
this man something.

Ask him where his shame is.

He says,
there is no shame in war.

Tell him he is wrong.
War doesn't negate decency.

What did he say?

He says he'd enjoy
putting a bullet in you,

almost as much as he'd enjoy her.

I'll take a thousand of his bullets
before I let this indecency take place.

- Baba, please, he'll shoot you.
- Have I taught you nothing?

Tell him he'd better
kill me good with the first shot.

Because if I don't go down,

I'm tearing him to pieces,
goddamn his father!

You are very kind.

It's not worthy of a thank you.

Get out. Come on, get out.

Keep it moving. Keep it moving.

Why did you stop?

We can't get you across
the border in that truck.

We don't have enough money
for all the Russians.

- So what are we doing?
- Go climb into that vehicle.

You're joking.

Your choice, Agha sahib.

Climb up quickly.

Turn around and go down.

I'm with you. Go.

You see it?


Don't be afraid.
I'm right here with you.

I can't breathe, Baba.

Think of something else.
Think of a poem.


You've memorised some,
haven't you?

I want to hear one.

"If we come to sleep
we are His drowsy ones

"And if we come to wake
we are in His hands"

Keep going.

"If we come to weeping
we are His cloud full of raindrops

"And if we come to laughing
we are His lightning in that moment"

Good job.

"If we come to anger and battle
it is the reflection of His wrath

"And if we come to peace and pardon
it is the reflection of His love

"Who are we
in this complicated world?"

Fremont, California

A pack of those.

- Is that your car?
- Yeah.

- Beautiful car.
- Thanks.

Richard Hidalgo.

Erin Hill.

Denise Hawking.

Damon Hooper.

June Kitagawa.

- Hi.
- Hello.

- Tonight I'm very happy.
- Well, that's good.

- Tonight I drink with my son.
- Hi.

How are you, my friend?
Let's have a drink with us.

- What you like to drink?
- Scotch.

- Three Scotch, please.
- I'll have a beer instead. Thanks.

- Budweiser?
- Sure.


My son, the college graduate.

- It's just community college.
- It's college.

And someday, Dr. Amir!

- You know I want to write.
- Write?

I don't want to be a doctor.


One more, sir.

So instead of being doctor
and saving lives,

he wants make up stories.

And for money,

you can work
at the gas station with me.

We'll put your diploma on the wall.

Whatever you think.

Beautiful! Beautiful shot!
You see that shot?

A pitcher of beer for gentlemen, please.

Cheers. My son,
he graduates college today.

- Way to go, man. Congratulations.
- Thank you.

Fuck the Russia!

- Fuck the Russia!
- Fuck Russia.

I wish Hassan
had been with us today.

This would make him happy.

- Four, so that's $6.
- Okay.

Amir jan.

This is General Sahib, Mr lqbal Taheri.

He was a decorated general in Kabul.

Such a lofty introduction.

- Salaam, my child.
- Salaam, General Sahib.

Amir is going to be a great writer.

It is God's will.

Will you be writing about our country?

History, perhaps?

I write fiction.

A storyteller.

Well, people do need their stories
to divert them occasionally.

- Father, you forgot your tea.
- You are too kind, my dear.

My daughter, Soraya jan.

Well, time to go set up.

Best of luck with the writing.

- Until later.
- Goodbye.


She has made an impression on you?

Please, Baba.

What are you writing?

A story.

Write well.

- How much?
- $160.

Not bad.

- You want a Coke?
- Sure. Be careful.

Of what?

The General is a Pashtun to the root.
He has honour and pride.

I was only going to get us Cokes.

Just don't embarrass me.

That's all I ask.

I won't.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- Is General Sahib here today?
- Yeah, he went that way.

Will you tell him that I stopped by
to pay my respects?

I will.

Thank you. Oh, and my name's Amir.

In case you need to know,
so you can tell him that I stopped by.

To pay my respects.

- I'll go now. Sorry to disturb you.
- Oh, no, no, you didn't.


Can I ask what you're reading?

Have you read it?

It's a sad story.

I heard you write.

Would you like to read
one of my stories?

I'd like that.


- How much for this?
- $5.

- I'll give you three.
- Okay.

Thank you.

- You're not much of a haggler.
- I know.

I brought you something.

- You remembered.
- Of course.

Our aspiring storyteller.
What a pleasure.

They say it will rain this week.

Hard to believe, isn't it?

You know, child,

I've grown rather fond of you.

You're a decent boy.

But, sometimes,
even decent boys need reminding.

So it's my duty to remind you
that you are among peers.

Here, everyone is a storyteller.

Do pass my respects to your father.

Yes, of course.

- For your granddaughter?
- My granddaughter.

- Impossible.
- Thank you very much.

Here you go. Thank You.

- Have a good day.
- You're welcome.


What's wrong?


The General?

You okay?

You all right?

Have you been coughing?


Where are you from?

I grew up in Michigan.
Came out here for medical school.

Once you get used to
that California sunshine...

- But your family?
- My family.

We're originally from Russia.

I'm sorry.

- How are you feeling?
- The same.

We have your results back.

Wait outside for me.

"The citizens of Kabul
were skeletons now,

skeletons selling naswar
in the night market,

skeletons drinking cups of strong tea,

skeletons playing cards
in the moonlight.

They greeted me as I passed,
teeth clacking together in their jaws.

'Salaam, brother', they said.

"Welcome home."

It's sort of a work in progress.

It's called The Sultans of Kabul.

Good title.

Keep going.

That's the end.

That's not an ending.

It's my story.

I get to end it how I want.

I'm tired of these machines.
Tomorrow I want you to take me home.

But Dr Amani said...

It's not Dr Amani's decision.

How are you, my friend?

You shouldn't
have burdened yourselves.

It's no burden.

No burden at all.

If you need anything,
ask me like you'd ask a brother.

Your coming here

has brightened my eyes.

What about you, Amir jan?

Do you need anything?

No, thank you, General Sahib.

Excuse me.

Thank you.

Those are beautiful flowers.

I'm really sorry.

You better go back inside
or your father will come after me.

Your story made me cry.

You read it?

Our secret?


Our secret.

Can I do anything else for you?

No, child. Thank you.

Then I wonder
if you'd do something for me.

I want you to go khastegari.

I want you to ask General Taheri
for his daughter's hand.

Are you sure?

More sure than I've
ever been about anything.

Then give me the phone
and my address book.


Then when?

Yes, much better.

It was gracious of you to come.

I called to ask,

if you have time,

if I may pay you
a visit tomorrow morning.

It's an honourable matter.

Nine o'clock?

That's just fine.

Until then.

Go home.

I'll call you in an hour.

Okay. Good luck.


The General accepted.

- He accepted?
- Yes, he accepted.

But Soraya jan wants
to talk to you first.

- About what?
- About what?

How do I know about what?
She wants to talk to you.

Okay. Okay. I'm on my way.

How are you?
Come inside and have some tea.

He didn't come for tea.

It doesn't matter,
we're going out for a walk.

You do want to get married?

- To me, I mean.
- Of course I do.

It's just... I want to tell you something,

something you need to know.

I don't want us to start with secrets.

We lived in Virginia
before we came here.

We left because

I ran away with an Afghan man.

I was 18.
I guess I thought I was being rebellious.

We lived together for almost a month.

All the Afghans in Virginia
were talking about it.

My father eventually found us.

He showed up at the door
and he made me come home.

I was hysterical,
and I told him I hated him.

We moved out to California
a few weeks later.

I didn't talk to my father
for a very long time. And now...

Now I feel like he's the reason
why I'm here.

Does what I told you bother you?

A little.

Does it bother you enough
to change your mind?


Not even close.

I'd marry you tonight if I could.

What do you see?

The rest of my life.

- They're so funny.
- They were crazy.

That's a funny picture.

They're so cute.

- Amir jan?
- Right here, Baba.

Help me to bed.

Of course.

I'll come back with your morphine
and a glass of water.


There is no pain tonight.

Come here, my daughter.

San Francisco

It will not be easy.

But you must come, Amir.

All right.

You're a good man.

God willing.


You all right?

I have to go to Pakistan.


Rahim Khan is very sick.

Your father's friend?

Is it safe right now?

What about the book tour?

There wouldn't be any books
if not for Rahim Khan.

Peshawar, Pakistan

It's terrible what's happening
in your country.

Afghani people and Pakistani people,
they are like brothers.

Muslim have to help Muslim.

They call this area Afghan Town.

Sometimes it feels like Peshawar
is a suburb of Kabul.

This way.

Amir jan.

Amir jan.

Welcome, welcome.

You've become a man.

General Taheri's daughter.

She's a beauty.

Any children?

We tried, but

it doesn't seem possible for us.

Thank you.

How long have you been in Pakistan?

Less than a year.
Kabul is no longer safe for me.

The Taliban are as bad as they say?

Oh, worse.

Much worse.
They don't let you be human.

They even banned kite flying.

I have something for you.

What's this?


"For Rahim Khan,
who listened to my stories

"before I knew how to write them."

This is a great honour, Amir.

Let me take you home with me.

I can find you a good doctor.

They're coming up with new treatments
all the time.

Amir, Amir, Amir.

I see America has infused you
with her optimism.

But there is such a thing as God's will.

Come, sit.

I didn't bring you here
to complain about my health.

Forgive me, Amir jan.
Forgive me for what I have to tell you.

Hassan is dead.


You know I watched over
your father's house after you left.

But none of the caretakers I hired
lasted more than a year.

Some were dishonest, some lazy.

So a few years ago I went to Hazarajat

and brought Hassan
and his family home with me.

His wife, Farzana, and his son, Sohrab.

Rostam and Sohrab

It was so good to have them there.

Hassan kept the house
from falling apart.

And Farzana cooked the meals.

It was good.

Very good.

But when my health began to fail,

well, there isn't a hospital in
Afghanistan that can help me,

so I came here.

A few weeks after I left,
the Taliban came to the house.

Hassan told them that he was looking
after the house for me, but...

They said that he was a liar and a thief
like all the other Hazaras.

And they ordered him to leave
with his family by nightfall.

Hassan wouldn't leave.

So they took him to the street
and ordered him to kneel

and shot him in the back of the head.

Farzana came screaming
and attacked them and...

They shot her, too.

And the boy?


He is in an orphanage

in Karteh Seh.

Hassan sent this to me a week
before he died.

It's for you.

He taught himself to read and write.

He didn't want to send you a letter
until he could do it properly.


you need to go back to Kabul.

I've arranged for a driver.
He's a good man.

I can't go back to Kabul.

Can't you pay someone here to go?
I'll pay for it if it's a matter of money.

It's not about money.

You are a storyteller.

Some part of you
has always known this story.

Ali's first wife was from Jaghori.

What does that
have to do with anything?

After five years she left him childless,

and married a man from Khost.

She bore that man three daughters.

Do you understand
what I'm trying to tell you?

Ali was sterile.

But he had Hassan.

He raised Hassan. He didn't father him.

Your father loved you both
because you were both his sons,

- and Sohrab...
- No.

He's your nephew.

I don't believe you.

You do.

That's what frightens you.

You're saying

my father,

for all those years,

lied to me.

Please think.

All that a man had back then
was his honour, his name,

and if people talked...

- He lied to me.
- He lied to both of you.

And now there is a way
to be good again.

"In the name of God,
the merciful, the compassionate,

Amir agha, with my deepest respects.

My wife and son and I
pray this letter finds you in fine health,

and in the light of God's good graces.

I'm hopeful that one day I will hold
one of your letters in my hands

and read of your life in America.

I am trying to learn English.
It's such a tricky language.

But one day, agha. I miss your stories.

I've included a picture of me
and my son, Sohrab.

He's a good boy.

Rahim Khan and I
taught him how to read and write,

so he doesn't grow up
stupid like his father.

And can he shoot
with that slingshot you gave me!

But I fear for him, Amir agha.

The Afghanistan of our youth
is long dead.

Kindness is gone from the land,
and you cannot escape the killings.

Always the killings.

I dream that God will guide us
to a better day.

I dream that my son will grow up
to be a good person,

a free person,

an important person.

I dream that flowers will bloom
in the streets of Kabul again,

and music will play
in the samovar houses,

and kites will fly in the skies.

And I dream that someday
you will return to Kabul

to revisit the land of our childhood.

If you do, you'll find
an old faithful friend waiting for you.

May God be with you always.




- Did I wake you up?
- No.

You all right?

I have to tell you a story.

What's his name?

Stop playing with it.

I really have to wear it?

You know what the Taliban will do to
you if they see you are clean-shaven?

So what brings you back
to Afghanistan?

Come to sell off your father's land,
pocket the money?

I'm not here to sell anything.

I'm going to Kabul to find a boy.

A boy?

This boy?

This Hazara boy?


What he means to you?

His father meant a lot to me.
He's the man in the photo.

He's dead now.

It was a friend of yours?

He was my brother.

I feel like a tourist in my own country.

You've always been a tourist here.
You just didn't know it.

- What happened to the trees?
- The Russians chopped them down.

You know what they're doing?

He's selling his leg?

He can get good money for it.

Feed your kids for a couple of weeks.

- What's that smell?
- Diesel.

The power's always going off
so people use generators.

Do you remember what this street
smelled like in the old days?

Lamb kabob.

Beard patrol.

What's the matter with you?


Don't you ever stare at them!

Understand me?


We're looking for this boy.

I'm sorry.
I've never seen him.

You barely looked
at the picture, my friend.

I know all the children here

and that one doesn't look familiar.

And now, if you'll permit me...

We don't mean him any harm.

I told you he's not here.

- Now, please, go away.
- Friend, we are not with the Taliban.

The man wants to
take this boy to a safe place.

I knew Sohrab's father.

His name was Hassan.

There's hope for this boy, Agha.

A way out.

I can take him back to America with me.

I'm his uncle.

What I have to tell you is not pleasant.

I tell you, because I believe you.

You have the look of desperate men.

There is a Talib official.

He visits every month or two.

He brings cash with him.

Not a lot, but better than nothing.

Usually, he takes a girl.

But not always.

And you allow this?

What choice do I have?

You're the director here.

Your job is to watch over these children.

There is nothing I can do.

- You're selling children!
- Easy.

You're here to protect them!


I am here to protect them.


And you, brother?

You come here to rescue a boy,

take him back to America,
give him a good life.

It must seem heroic, huh?

But what of the other
two hundred children?

You'll never see them again.

You'll never hear them
howling in the night.

I spent my life savings
on this orphanage.

Everything I owned or inherited
I sold to run this godforsaken place.

You think I don't have family
in Pakistan or Iran?

I could have run like everyone else.

If I deny him one child, he takes 10.

So, I let him take one,

and leave the judging to Allah.

I take his filthy money,
and I go to the bazaar,

and I buy food for the children.

You think I spend it on myself?

Look at me.


What happens to the children he takes?

Sometimes, they come back,

more often, they don't.

Who is he?

How do I find him?

Go to the Ghazi Stadium tomorrow.

You'll see him at halftime.

He'll be the one making speeches.

Now, please leave.
You've frightened the children.

Pull over here.

We should go.

I have to look at one more thing.

Nothing that you remember
has survived.

Better to forget.

I don't want to forget any more.

Do you want to stay here?

No, but we have to.

That's him.

Brothers and sisters!

We are here today
to carry out Shari'a.

We are here today
to carry out justice.

We listen to what God says,
and we obey.

And what does God say?

Every sinner must be punished
in a manner befitting his sin.

Those are not my words,
nor the words of my brothers.

Those are the words of God!

And what manner of punishment
benefits the adulterer?

How shall we punish those
who dishonour the sanctity of marriage?

How shall we deal
with those who disobey God?

How shall we answer those who throw
stones at the windows of God's house?

We shall throw stones back!

My friend.

My friend, a word?

We have business with your brother.

Personal business.

I guess I'll wait in the car.
This is your business now.

Thank you for helping me.

Anyone there?

I was told to come here.

Come in.

Thank you.

How soft.

Sit down.

Sit down.

I think there's been a mistake.

I came to see your friend.

The man who made
the speech at the stadium.

He has other business.

You can do away with that now.

I'm not sure what you mean.

Take off your beard.

One of the better ones I've seen.

Take off the turban.

You come from America?


I'm looking for a boy.

Isn't everybody?

I understand your friend
brought him here.

His name is Sohrab.

Let me ask you something.

What are you doing
with that whore America?

Why aren't you here

with your Muslim brothers,
serving your country.

I've been away for a long time.

That's an answer?

Not an answer, they say.

I'm only here for the boy.

Do you want to see him?

Come, my boy.

Such a talented little Hazara.

Leave us be.

I've been wondering,

whatever happened to
your great Baba, anyway?

What did you think?

That you'd put on a fake beard
and I wouldn't recognise you?

I knew you the second
I saw you in the stadium.

I never forget a face. Never!


Amir jan.

What are you doing here?


I'm home.

The question is,
what are you doing here?

I'm taking the boy home with me.

You want my advice?

Run away.

That's what you do best.

Not without Sohrab.

Why's that?

The boy's too good for his country?

What do you know about Afghanistan?

You weren't here when the Communists
shot our mullahs

and pissed in our mosques.

This country was like a beautiful
mansion littered with garbage.

We took out the garbage.
We brought law. We brought justice.

I have seen your laws

and your justice.

And I'm taking the boy home with me.

All right, then.

Of course, I didn't say
you could take him for free.

No more.

No more, Agha.
Please, stop hurting him.

Put it down, Hazara.
You'll get yours next.

Put it down!

Get it out!

Get it out!

Kill him!

Go home to your family.

Are you Amir?

Rahim Khan left this for you.

Where did he go?

I did not ask.

But he'll be back?

He has left us, my child.

You're wasting your hand.





Take off your shoes, dear brother.

Forgive me.

I thought I lost you.

He used to come get me
in the morning before prayers.

I didn't want him
to get me any more.

He won't, Sohrab.

I swear to you,

he can't get you any more.

Are your parents dead?


Do you remember what they look like?

I never met my mother.

I remember
what my father looked like.

I'm starting to forget their faces.

Is that bad?


Sometimes I'm glad they're dead.



Because I don't want them to see me.

I'm so dirty.

You're not dirty.

I won't hurt you.

That's my wife.

- Missed you.
- Missed you, too.

Sohrab jan, this is your aunt.

We've all been waiting for you.

Ready to meet your new family?

Let's go.

Do you like your room?

You don't look so bad.

I don't think he's looked at me once.

Give him time.

I'm knitting him
a turtleneck sweater for next winter.

The sweaters they
sell here don't last a month.

Amir jan.

You're going to tell me why
you've brought this boy back with you?

What sort of question is that?

While you're busy
knitting sweaters, my dear,

I have to deal with the
community perception of our family.

People will ask why there is
a Hazara boy living with our daughter.

What do I tell them?

You can tell them...

It's all right.

The General is correct.

People will ask.

- Amir?
- It's all right.

You see, General Sahib,

my father slept with his servant's wife.

And she bore him a son named Hassan.

Hassan is dead now.

That boy sleeping in the other room
is Hassan's son.

He's my nephew.

That's what you tell people
when they ask.

And one more thing, General Sahib.

You will never again refer to him
as "a Hazara boy" in my presence.

He has a name, and it's Sohrab.

- It felt so real.
- Thank you.

My pleasure. Thank you.

Look. Look at that.

Excuse me a second.

I'd like that kite, please.

And I'll take this spool.

Do you like the kite?

Did I ever tell you

your father

was the best
kite runner in all Kabul?

He made all
the neighbourhood kids jealous.

He'd run the kites

and never look up at the sky.

Some claimed

he was just chasing the kite's shadow.

But they didn't know him like I did.

Your father wasn't chasing shadows.

He just knew.

That's all.

Do you want to help me fly this?


Looks like I have to fly it solo.

Last chance.

Here I go.

It's a good kite, no?

Do you want to try?


Hold it tight, Sohrab jan.

Good job, Sohrab.

Pull, pull, pull!

Looks like someone wants a fight.

Are you sure?

Let's teach him a lesson, no?

Watch, Sohrab.

I'm going to show you
one of your father's favourite tricks.

An old technique.

Lift and Dive.


Come closer.

Here he comes!

We're going to catch him now, right?

Look, I cut him!

What are you doing,
you can't hold it right?

I'm sorry!

Do you want me to run that kite for you?

For you, a thousand times over.

Special thanks to SergeiK.