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Thread: The Breadwinner (Nora Twomey)

  1. #1

    The Breadwinner (Nora Twomey)


  2. #2

    Is it a happy story or a sad story?

    The Breadwinner.
    Nora Twomey, 2017.

    Synopsis: After her father gets unjustly arrested by the Taliban, a young girl named Parvana disguises herself as a boy to provide food for her family and maybe someday, rescue her father.

    How does it look? Gorgeous (Cartoon Saloon, yo!), but at the same time, different enough from the other offerings from CS, favoring slightly more naturalistic backgrounds, warmer colors and a slightly less colorful palette... when we're in the real world. When we focus on Parvana's stories, all bets are off.

    What did I like? Yay another story with strong female characters! And not only Parvana, the plucky protagonist, her mother and her sister Soraya, despite appearing less (and in the case of her mother, being more vulnerable) they have their good character moments (I specially love when her sister wordlessly cuts Parvana's character, silently acknowledging Parvana's act of rebellion) which is necessary, since they need all their strength to survive this war torn Afghanistan.


    Speaking of that, Twomey do manage to portray Afghanistan as a hard, tough country ravaged by war without mentioning it explicitly (in fact, we're not entirely sure when does the story happen, we only know that it is between the Russian invasion and the American invasion of Afghanistan), what we do see is abandoned tanks, torn up cities, people who have lost limbs, friends and families and landscapes filled with abandoned tanks and infested with landmines while at the same time we see some pretty ugly instances of misogyny enabled by the extremist branch of islamism of the Taliban (personified by a young bully who works for the Taliban who isn't particularly far from a right-winger in this side of the world). Even then, people find ways to keep going, tell stories to find hope and muster the courage to do acts of extreme kindness even at the cost of their lives. The people here are survivors.

    What didn't I like? The side story of Sulayman while beautifully animated, breaks the momentum of the main story a little, but it's admittedly a minor complaint, specially because it does have it's payoff at the end.

    Final thoughts: A human feminist story about hope, family and kindness with a very bittersweet ending. Cartoon Saloon is 3-for-3.

  3. #3
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    This is now on Netflix.

    Edit: Oh this is the same director as Secret of the Kells? I'm in for sure.

  4. #4
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    This is now on Netflix.

    Edit: Oh this is the same director as Secret of the Kells? I'm in for sure.
    Indeed!

  5. #5
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    Like in In This Corner of the World, there is a productive balance between unsparing state of war and domestic tranquility. But even more so than that film, the violence here looms larger and more oppressive, while the sparks of domestic joy are harder to come by, but by no means extinguished (with the additional aid of storytelling as a mean to escape and cope with horrific stuff). Tough, and at times startling in how far the depictions of oppressive regime can go in this animated context. But it's also powerful storytelling (the climax is a breathtakingly tense cross-cut between parallel struggles and stories, with a truly sweeping scope) and the injections of optimism seem less concession to kids and more like showing the unyielding resilience for life under unimaginable circumstances. 8/10
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  6. #6
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Philip J. Fry (view post)
    What didn't I like? The side story of Sulayman while beautifully animated, breaks the momentum of the main story a little, but it's admittedly a minor complaint, specially because it does have it's payoff at the end.
    I felt this too, like the stories-within-a-story blended in less seamlessly than in Secret of the Kells, but it's ultimately a minor complaint in such a beautiful (and heartbreaking) movie.

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