Parents' Guide to

The Breadwinner

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Powerful, intense animated tale of life under Taliban rule.

Movie PG-13 2017 94 minutes
The Breadwinner Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 17 parent reviews

age 11+

The Breadwinner Review

I really liked this movie! Both movie and book are equally amazing but i prefer the book better because it makes me see my own movie in my own head and it's very cool :) Imagination is key to a great movie!
age 14+

Good Film

This is a beautifully animated masterpiece. But parents probably must view it before letting their child see if. As this portrays life under the Taliban very realistically. Lots of offscreen beating, arguing and shouting is presented, not to mention where a rather vicious and in my opinion bratty relative demands the main character's mother, and sister to come with him before attempting to kidnap the youngest family member, despite the mother saying that they need to wait for said protagonist. Even when the vehicle breaks down, the relative pulls out a knife, and once again demanding them to return to the vehicle immediately. However if your kid can handle it than they can handle it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (17 ):
Kids say (24 ):

This gorgeously animated film is a poignant reminder of the violence that girls and women face in patriarchies. In The Breadwinner, Parvana disguises herself as a boy not to fight or receive an education, as with similar stories like Mulan or Yentl -- but just to survive. The film shows the severe restrictions placed on women, and even men. But it's important to note that the people behind The Breadwinner -- directors, producers, and the author of the novel it's based on -- are all White, crafting a narrative that relies on the ideology and values of White, Western feminism. While this ideology can rightfully condemn Taliban patriarchy in some ways, it carries a lot of ethnic and colonial baggage of its own.

The fable within the film, which has a different look than the rest of the animation, smoothly translates the Afghan experience for Western audience members. It mirrors Parvana's own role in rescuing her family from certain doom. Her perseverance under unthinkably tense conditions is remarkable; it's an inspiration for her melancholy mother and sheltered older sister. The movie's subject matter might be too intense and the violence too realistic for very young viewers, but tweens and young teens aware of, say, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's story, should find it fascinating and educational. Like Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon's previous big films (The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea), The Breadwinner blends folklore with realism and ultimately shows how children are far braver than some might think.

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