The Breadwinner

Poster for The Breadwinner

Based on the award-winning, best-selling young adult novel of the same name by Deborah Ellis, The Breadwinner tells the remarkable story of Parvana, a young girl who is forced to become the breadwinner for her family while living under the Taliban regime. Executive produced by Angelina Jolie and helmed by Irish filmmaker Nora Twomey in her solo directorial debut (co-director on The Secret of Kells, head of story and voice director on Song of the Sea), The Breadwinner is a rare gem that will captivate both young and mature audiences.

Living in a single room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, 11-year-old Parvana is not allowed to attend school or leave the house without a male chaperone. Her father—a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed—sits on a blanket in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. However, when the Taliban arrests Parvana’s father for having a foreign education, the young girl disguises herself as a boy in order to shop for food and earn money for her family.

Sumptuously rendered with swirling hand-drawn animation that has become the hallmark of Cartoon Saloon, the film cap­tures the colours, sights, and lights of the Afghan city. Featuring a voice cast of largely Afghani, Pakastani and Indian actors, The Breadwinner disrupts the typical Hollywood version of princesses. Instead, it is a timely reminder of the millions of strong young girls and women worldwide who persevere in the face of oppression or conflict.

“The Breadwinner delivers a heart-wrenching coming-of-age tale within a nation that’s lost its way.” (Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage)

“Delighting in the ancient tradition of storytelling as a means of education and understanding as well as entertainment, Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner is a richly animated jewel.” (Matthew Anderson, CineVue)