DIRECTOR: Nora Twomey
WRITERS: Anita Doron
RUN TIME: 1H 34MIN
GENRE: Animation ,Drama, Family
“Raise your words, not your voice, it's rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
― Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi
I learned a lot watching the movie The Breadwinner. When I was trying to find out who wrote the movie, I learned that it was based on a book. I hope to read it one day. Also, I had never heard of the poet Rumi until now. The quote I put at the top of this review came at the end of the movie. It is one of the most beautiful metaphors I have heard in a long time. The movie was beautiful too. It was not full of happy moments, but it showed the truth of being a woman living in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.
Even though I am a woman, I cannot begin to understand what it is like living under Taliban rule. I am a white, American woman and with that comes a lot of privilege. The Breadwinner shows a glimpse of their difficult reality.
Parvana is a young girl who must go to extreme measures when her father, who is a teacher, is taken away to a Taliban prison. She cuts off her long hair and dresses up as a boy, so she can provide food for her mother, older sister, and baby brother. She must do this because women are not allowed outside without a male family member by their side.
The animation is beautiful. The landscape surrounding the characters is muted. I think it symbolizes the darkness of their existence, yet even within that, the characters tend to have vibrant clothing as if to contrast they are being light within the darkness.
Also, the animators used a different style of animation when Parvana and her father are storytelling. It was a great way to show the fantasy of the stories versus the reality they lived. I am undecided if the storytelling for Parvana was more a way to escape her reality or a way to deal with the loss of a family member. It could be a bit of both reason.
The Breadwinner was nominated for Best Animated Movie award for the Oscars this year. I think it should win, however, it was released without a lot of fanfare, so I am doubtful of it’s chances. I was not aware of it until I seen it on Netflix as a new addition. I am glad I watched it. It was a great movie that was well made. The story may not have ended with a happily ever after, but that in part is what made it so much better.
This movie put into perspective how much freedom I have as a woman in the West. But even writing that last sentence makes me feel like I sound nationalistic and prejudice against Islamic countries. I know that not every Muslim is as extreme as the Taliban. There has been a movement within America to shed light on the problem of sexual harassment. The #MeToo movement started with the revelation of mostly men of the entertainment industry had been using the power of their position to their own advantage with women being at the receiving end of this power imbalance.
In the light of a movie such as The Breadwinner, is all the sexual harassment in America really that bad? If anything, I consider it worse, these men are being hypocrites. They say they treat men and women equally, yet their actions reveal a different story. While the Taliban are unashamedly patriarchal and oppressive to women.
For me personally, I believe every person has value and should be treated equally because God made them in His image, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (ESV). I liked the Rumi quote so much because I believe the solution for people to treat people equally is through the heart. You cannot physically force someone to believe in God, but you can share the word of God and they might choose to believe.