On Tuesday, at the first President’s Forum ever held in the Geneva Movieplex, students, faculty, staff and friends of the Colleges filed in to view the premiere of “The Kite Runner, the film adaptation of the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini.
The Geneva pre-release screening was made possible through a former colleague of President Mark D. Gearan, who is managing publicity for the movie. The film is scheduled to be released nationwide later this year.
“The group of faculty, students and staff who gathered at the theater with our Geneva neighbors shows the kind of interest that’s generated when a book stays on the best-seller lists for more than 100 weeks — and is then made into a movie, Gearan said. “The theory of the forum was always to explore new ideas and the medium of film can be very thought-provoking.
Many in the audience said they’d read the book, initially published in 2003, and most agreed that the film was true to the novel, exploring the heartbreaking relationship, actions and reactions of two young boys living in Afghanistan prior to and during Soviet occupation, and how that relationship shaped one’s future. Many in the audience were moved to tears several times during the evening.
After the applause that followed the closing credits, a panel of four HWS faculty gave their reactions to the film and fielded questions from audience members. The film sparked interesting comments and debate, covering everything from the artistic aspects and intentions of the film, to its political, religious and cultural implications.
The faculty panel included Professors of Media and Society Linda Robertson and Lester Friedman, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Etin Anwar and Assistant Professor of Political Science Stacey Philbrick Yadav.
“The Kite Runner is directed by Marc Forster, who previously directed “Monster’s Ball and “Finding Neverland, and stars Khalid Abdalla as Amir and Shaun Toub as Rahim Khan. The screening agreement with the Colleges precluded any further review.
The next President’s Forum will feature Chris Myers Asch, co-founder of the U.S. Public Service Academy, speaking at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Geneva Room.
Less than a week later, Ron Tschetter, director of the Peace Corps, will speak on “Peace Corps: How Far Will You Go?, starting at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Albright Auditorium. He will be introduced by President Gearan, who headed the agency from 1995 to 1999.