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The Breadwinner

This exceptional animated film about a girl’s struggles in Afghanistan is based on the bestselling novel by Deborah Ellis.


Dir Nora Twomey
Prod Anthony Leo, Andrew Rosen, Paul Young, Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants
Scr Anita Doron, Deborah Ellis
With Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Laara Sadiq

One girl’s struggle in Taliban-controlled Kabul is the subject of this animated tour de force from Cartoon Saloon (Song of the Sea, LFF2014) and executive produced by Angelina Jolie. When 11-year-old Parvana’s father is taken by the Taliban, she and her family find life difficult without a man in the house. Women are forbidden from going anywhere unaccompanied, which means access to food or even trying to enquire about their father’s whereabouts is impossible. If they are to survive, drastic action must be taken. That’s when Parvana cuts her hair and passes herself off as a boy. It’s a cruel environment, but as a boy she has complete freedom in this war-torn city. The sole breadwinner she might be, but Parvana’s actions place her in terrible danger. Respectful and celebratory in its depiction of Afghan history and culture, this is an exceptional film that depicts a family determined to stay together at all costs. The Breadwinner is an important work, beautifully made by Nora Twomey and while there are difficult moments, this is ultimately an uplifting, inspiring film that offers hope and desire for a world where all women’s voices will be heard.

Justin Johnson

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Nora Twomey, Director; Saara Chaudry, Cast

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

The Breadwinner has now been certified 12A by the BBFC (previously advertised as a PG). Therefore these screenings will be accessible to under 12s only if accompanied by a responsible adult.

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