2018 Kamloops Film Festival: The Breadwinner

Each year, The Omega reviews the films presented at the Kamloops Film Festival. The festival runs through March 10.

Directed by Nora Twomey, The Breadwinner was adapted from Deborah Ellis’ popular teen novel of the same name. The film revolves around Parvana, an 11-year old girl,  living in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.  In a  patriarchal society where women are subjected to cruel punishment if they step out of place, Parvana and her family of readers and writers find ways to resist oppression.

The story embodies interwoven themes that cement themselves through history, feminism and of course: the undefeatable power of love.The hand-drawn animation is very  descriptive and is accompanied by a mini-story constructed by the protagonist, to reflect the tragedy of her own situation.

Presented in a cut-out animation style to stand out, Parvana’s fairy tale is used to break from tense scenes and adds a cheap laugh for the sake of young viewers. Allusions to the Afghan war, the inhumane treatment of women and the raw reality of children being robbed of their innocence, are some of the key themes explored in the film.

However, while the film makes it clear that women are treated as mere objects, and that many men have been irrationally radicalized, it fails to address the cause of these issues, instead focusing on regurgitating a stereotypical view of the Middle East.