I’m kicking off 2023 by trying to watch and review one movie every day for the first 90 days, all of which will be 90 minutes or less.
Title: The Breadwinnner
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Director: Nora Twomey
Production Company: Cartoon Saloon | Aircraft Pictures | Guru Studio | Jolie Pas | Melusine Productions
Cartoon Salon and director Nora Twomey (The Secret of Kells, My Father’s Dragon) bring the unique visual style used in films based on Irish folklore to a story about recent history in Afghanistan. Set in 2001, under the rule of the Taliban, 11-year-old Parvana (Saara Chaudry) is the middle child in a poor family living in Kabul. When her father is imprisoned the family faces starvation due to the laws that require women and girls to be escorted by a male relative any time they are in public.
With no man in the family, Parvana cuts her hair and wears the clothes of her deceased older brother Sulayman in order to make money and bring home food for the family. Adopting the name Aatish, she meets another girl Shauzia disguised as a boy named Deliwar (Soma Bhatia) who shows her the ropes on finding jobs. The movie has a storytelling element as well as Parvana tells an ongoing story of a boy on a quest to save his village from an evil Elephant King. The stories are vividly animated in a style that stands apart from the more lifelike depiction of contemporary Kabul.
It’s a beautiful film that depicts a grim side of humanity but with the inspiration of Parvana’s perseverance.