Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father, so resolves to win the local kite-fighting tournament and prove that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan promises to help him - for he always helps Amir. But this is 1970s Afghanistan and Hassan is merely a low-caste servant who is jeered at in the street, although Amir feels jealous of his natural courage and the place he holds in his father's heart. Neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan on the afternoonof the tournament, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return, to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.