Inspired by the award winning historical fiction book, The Breadwinner (the animated movie) does not disappoint. Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women's freedom and behavior, Parvana’s family is completely dependent on her father to provide for them. The women of Kabul are forbidden to work, go to school, or be outside the home at all without a man. Most girls are too afraid to be outside the home under the Taliban rule. One day, her loving father is wrongfully arrested, which in turn, puts the rest of the family’s survival in danger. Eleven-year-old Parvana cuts her hair and wears boy clothes to disguise herself as a boy so that she can work and buy food for her mom, sister, and baby brother. By disguising herself as a boy, she faces new adventures and new dangers than she did before. She is forced to grow up fast in her harsh environment and copes with it by telling stories.
Throughout the movie, the viewer gets to see Parvana’s is gift in the art of story-telling come to life. The colorful story she tells throughout the movie amidst all of the tragedies she witnesses in reality becomes more than just a tale. Her story gives her a power that helps her to sustain hope throughout her challenges.
This animated movie has some strong themes of feminism and the importance of stories themselves. I also love that the author of the book that it is based off of interviewed refugees from Afghanistan to base the events off of real world experiences. The book (which we also own if you are interested in checking it out) and movie is set in the late 1990’s, and the laws and political climate are true to the story even though Parvana and her family are fictional characters. I love it so much and I would highly recommend it to any teen and especially those who enjoy a great historical fiction. 11/10 stars from me. -MC