A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers.
From executive producer Angelina Jolie and the creators of the Academy Award nominated The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, comes the highly-anticipated new feature based on Deborah Ellis' bestselling novel. Parvana is an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses like a boy in order to support her family. Working alongside her friend Shauzia, Parvana discovers a new world of freedom-and danger. With undaunted courage, Parvana draws strength from the fantastical stories she invents, as she embarks on a quest to find her father and reunite her family. Equal parts thrilling and enchanting, The Breadwinner is an inspiring and luminously animated tale about the power of stories to sustain hope and carry us through dark times.
In the Taliban-controlled city of Kabul, Afghanistan in the early 2000s, Parvana (voiced by Saara Chaudry) is a pre-teen girl who must disguise herself as a boy in order to earn money for her family. As females are forbidden to appear in public without an adult male, she must also shop for the family as well.
"The Breadwinner" is an animated film co-produced by Canada, Ireland, and Luxembourg and is in the English language.
The story (from the book by Deborah Ellis) can be highly praised for focusing on Parvana's struggles while also involving related subplots that add richly to the story without ever creating the feeling of overwhelm or confusion. The most fascinating is one that begins as Parvana (as a boy) is approached by an illiterate man who needs to have a letter read to him.
This film pulls no punches in the injustice against females by Taliban zealots. One of the ways this is exposed is when Parvana walks outside for the first time dressed as a boy and the viewer can easily sense her great feeling of freedom.
Two other strengths add to the greatness of this movie. One is unexpected humour. It truly works despite the grim situation overall and is neither facetious nor unbelievable. The other is the beautiful visuals in the animation. This is especially apparent in a parallel mythical story - one that matches the main narrative - which Parvana narrates to her baby brother.
The finale is open-ended leaving the viewer wondering what will happen to Parvana and her family. It's a rather perfect ending as it gives us just the right amount of information for us to imagine in different ways what could happen next.
Make no mistake: "The Breadwinner" is a winner in many ways.
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