The Breadwinner': Best Animated Feature of 2017

The Breadwinner': Best Animated Feature of 2017

by Yash Saboo November 21 2017, 5:59 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 39 secs

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' best-selling novel, The Breadwinner. Said to be more imaginative than “Coco”, more soulful than “Moana”, more everything than “Despicable Me 3” according to Indiewire.

The Breadwinner is a story about Parvana, an 11-year-old girl who does not like to be told what she cant do, 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.

Set in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul in 2001, the waning days of Taliban rule, "The Breadwinner" does have an 11-year-old girl as its protagonist, but that is the only childish thing about it.

The plot thickens when an attempt by Parvana and her mother to go to the prison in the hopes of seeing her father ends with her mother being beaten, the girl decides to take matters into her own hands. In order to help distract her brother from what is going on, she concocts an extended fable about a young boy on a quest to stand up to the evil Elephant King that has terrorized his village and stolen the seeds that it needs for next year’s crops.

For more practical matters of survival, she takes inspiration from Shauzia (Soma Chhaya), a former classmate who has cut her hair in order to pass as a boy and decides to adopt a similar disguise. Now she is able to provide for the others by taking odd jobs for money and shopping in the marketplace from unsuspecting vendors. As the two girls experience this unusual degree of freedom, they even begin to idly think about getting out of Kabul altogether and starting a new life. Inevitably, reality intrudes and forces Parvana and her family to make a number of awful choices in order to survive even as the war outside comes closer and closer to their home.

Parvana is so lovely to look at that it makes for such a sympathetic and compelling heroine that viewers both young and old will want to follow her as she tries to negotiate her way through a number of seemingly impossible situations.

Parvana’s story will pull at your heart, but its beauty is evenly matched with its despair; she may triumph in one small victory over systemic misogyny, but the war is hardly won. The film can’t leave us with happiness, so it opts instead to leave us with hope, hope as stubborn as the shock of yellow flowers that grow out of the stones outside of Parvana’s home.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.