Culture, family, and sacrifice are some of the many themes you will find in 2017’s Oscar nominee film “The Breadwinner.” The setting is Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in 2001. Parvana is an 11-year old girl living with her father, mother, and older sister and toddler brother. Her family is already in hardship after her father is wounded in the war. They must sell what few valuables they have in order to survive. When her father is arrested by the Taliban, Parvana must make a dire decision to support her family and try to bring her father home.
Our country celebrates diversity and condemns the terror that ISIS brings overseas. We live in a place and time where some of us question why they don’t just rebel like the American people would. When viewing this film, one can notice that such change isn’t that easy. This doesn’t mean the characters aren’t blind to injustice. I was impressed to see the acknowledgement and effort taken so these families can stay stable and safe together.
The art in this film is stunning, consisting of hand-drawn animation. It is especially beautiful during the storytelling scenes. The setting provides many struggles but those limitations furthered my engagement as I sympathized with many of the characters and thought alongside them about what decision would be best, even if it wasn’t the ideal choice. One recurring thought that I had while watching this film was that no matter what, this film is most likely only a fragment of the reality of that country at that time. Then, I couldn’t help but wonder about the present. This is a film that takes risks. It does not pander to the masses. Like Parvana, it tells a story that comes from the heart.