Nora Twomey and Anthony Leo
Director: Nora Twomey
Producers: Anthony Leo, Tomm Moore, Andrew Rosen, and Paul Young
Writers: Anita Doron and Deborah Ellis
Composers: Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Run-time: 94 minutes
FILM SYNOPSIS: Eleven-year-old Parvana adores her schoolteacher father, who tells her fables from Afghanistan’s past. After her father is arrested by the Taliban, Parvana disguises herself as a boy to provide for her mother, older sister and baby brother. Using her father’s tales, Parvana comforts her brother and gives herself the courage to sustain her dangerous new identity.
“The Breadwinner” may not be a Pixar masterpiece or the first ever hand painted feature film, but it is a vibrant, crisp foreign animated feature that tells a captivating story of a young Afghani girl who must cut her and impersonate a boy after her father is jailed by the Taliban. Basically an Afghanistan version of “Mulan,” instead of going to war, Parvana has to earn money and do the shopping for her family because in this particular culture, women are not allowed to go out into the world without their male counterparts, which is either their husbands, relatives, or siblings that are males. Not only is the film well animated but it’s informative in a way that allows you to peak into the world that women in Afghanistan live in.
As unique as “The Breadwinner” is, with its multiple animations styles and excellent voice cast, “Coco” is the film to beat this year. Both films are immersed in the cultures that they are portraying, with “Coco” diving into Mexican culture while “The Breadwinner” shows us the world of Afghanistan currently under Taliban rule. Both films play to the sense of the “dreamer,” whereas in “Coco,” the young boy dreams of playing music despite his family’s strong objections to it while in “The Breadwinner,” Parvana and her friend, who is also disguised as a boy, dream of getting out of this place and seeing exotic beaches. But “Coco” uses this theme of dreaming as a constant throughout the plot. It is the driving force. It offers a much brighter outlook. Not to mention, Pixar is an Academy powerhouse. Anytime they produce something critically acclaimed, it usually always plays a big role at the Oscars.
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