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The Breadwinner

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Ireland, Canada, Luxembourg · 2017
Rated PG-13 · 1h 34m
Director Nora Twomey
Starring Saara Chaudry, Soma Bhatia, Laara Sadiq, Shaista Latif
Genre Animation, Drama, Family, War

Parvana is a headstrong young girl who lives under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. After her father's sudden arrest, her family is devastated, left with barely enough money to get by. Parvana bravely disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family in this animated coming-of-age tale.

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Screen International by

Twomey’s mastery of colour and exquisite blend of traditional Afghan-inspired imagery with cel animation techniques is not matched by such a confident command of tone, which rarely shifts out of a single mournful register.


Slant Magazine by Diego Semerene

Cross-dressing in the story is merely a tool for survival, but such border-crossing is inevitably rife with unintended consequences beyond narrative ones.


The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

In its alternating of Parvana’s day-to-day struggle with the tale she tells herself, the movie doesn’t promote bromides about stories and storytelling transcending reality. Rather, it demonstrates that the way imagination refracts reality can provide not only solace but also real-world strategy.


The Film Stage by Jared Mobarak

Adapted by Anita Doron from the award-winning novel by Deborah Ellis, The Breadwinner delivers a heart-wrenching coming-of-age tale within a nation that’s lost its way.


Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

A work of striking beauty and affecting emotional heft enhanced by an Afghan-themed score by Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna, The Breadwinner reminds us yet again that the best of animation takes us anywhere at any time and makes us believe.


CineVue by Matthew Anderson

Delighting in the ancient tradition of storytelling as a means of education and understanding as well as entertainment, Nora Twomey's The Breadwinner is a richly animated jewel.


The Hollywood Reporter by Sheri Linden

Not unlike her gutsy protagonist, Twomey moves through the charged landscape with extraordinary agility. Combining gripping suspense with a quote from the immortal Persian poet Rumi, she creates a stirring final sequence from the rising chords of terror and resilience.


Village Voice by Sherilyn Connelly

It’s notable that since her hair is cut short and she’s wearing male clothes, none of the men suspect that she’s not a boy despite her chosen male name being only slightly less conspicuous than “McLovin.” Being evil is not the same thing as being intelligent or observant.

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