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A girl is playing on the green slopes of a valley in Kurdistan, on the border between Iran and Iraq, when her kite is suddenly swept across the river by the wind. Three boys on the other side see her calling for help, but cannot make out what she is saying: she is just too far away. Separated by the river, the children try to communicate with each other – yet between them lie the explosive remnants of past wars.
Through what begins as a distant call-and-response, a young boy must figure out a solution when a young girl’s kite ends up on the opposite side of a mine-laden divide. Between them is a barrier in the most literal sense, but cross-border languages present yet another obstacle. With the help of friends and an elder, the boy embarks on a mission to return the kite in one piece.
In many ways, this slice of life is symbolic of a sort of radical imagination: the palpable care for one another, the innovation in problem-solving, the courage to reconcile what is lost. With “The Kites,” Hosseini manages to image a film that feels like such a ray of active hope, despite the nearness of a conflicted past.
Director: Seyed Payam Hosseini
Running time: 14 minutes
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