Movie Review: The Breadwinner

Beautifully animated film tells heart wrenching tale

by Bri Branscomb, Assistant Editor

The world of a young Afghan girl living under the reign of the Taliban is explored in director Nora Toomey’s latest animated debut, ‘The Breadwinner.’ The film is mesmerizing with a beautifully woven storyline earning it a 5/5.

The films setting takes place in 2001 era Afghanistan. It follows the story of a young Muslim girl, Parvana, who disguises herself as a boy after the wrongful arrest of her father. Parvana gains independence and growth as she struggles to keep her family alive and bring her father home.

The movie is primarily about the courage of Afghan women struggling to survive under an oppressive regime. Each character has their own distinct persona and conflicts, yet manage to relate to each other in such a way that beautiful relationships are formed. The most compelling aspect of this story is how each woman grows as they struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable circumstances, and the strength they possess.

The animation quality of the film is outstanding. The story manages to expertly weave between the harsher images of a land ripped apart by war and the dream-like sequences which occur whenever Parvana launches into a fairy tale. The jarring images of battle perfectly contrast with the colorful fancies of Parvana’s mind to help create an authentic feel for how a young girl might see the broken world around her.

‘The Breadwinner’ has a central message: find your voice. The violent backdrop of this film expertly lends itself to the narrative of women struggling to survive and fighting back against a patriarchal society. The story is captivating from start to finish, and will surely leave its mark on the animated world.