The Breadwinner

The United States has been at war with the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001. Some want American troops to pull out right away, leaving the country to its fate. The Breadwinner, directed by Nora Twomey, gives a picture of what that would mean for the Afghan people, particularly women.

However, the story is intended as a portrait of how terrifying life is like under Taliban rule without stressing a political narrative. The main focus is on Parvana (voiced by Saara Chaudry) and her reliance on traditional fables, so the film is presented as an animation with voiceovers.

Parvana is a 11-year-old daughter of a father Nurullah (Ali Badshah), who is arrested in Kabul for not following the norms of the Taliban, leaving the family without a male to escort a female in the family to fetch food and water. Out of necessity, Parvana then decides to pass as a boy. But she seeks to liberate her father from the prison in the belief that she can bribe officials, and her second visit to the prison provides the climax. MH