Release year: 2017
Director: Nora Twomey
Screenwriter: Anita Doron, Deborah Ellis (and also based on her book)
Starring (voices): Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Noorin Gulamgaus, Laara Sadiq, Ali Badshah, Shaista Latif, Kanza Feris, Kawa Ada, Kane Mahon
Ratings: 1 Oscar nomination: Best Animated Feature.
After Parvana’s (Chaudry) father is imprisoned for no reason her family is left without any way to feed themselves. The live in a society which doesn’t even allow females to buy food. Desperate to help her family, Parvana cuts her hair and dresses up like a boy to become the family’s breadwinner.
This animated feature was an international collaboration between several countries was the only non-american film to be nominated Best Animation at the 2018 Oscars. A nomination it had highly deserved as it is good. The drawings are simple but pretty but the story is far from. Giving a glimpse of the suppressive society we know little of except the was issue but without being highly emotional painted or added a morale lecture is somehow fresh. The war is something that happens in the background as one would assume is the case for many ordinary citizens and this is about a normal, little family struggling in the poverty of a war-stricken country rich in rules. Parvana’s father is a teacher and has taught her girls to read and write and to think for themselves. Parvana is a proper little heroine. She is caring, helpful and stubborn and shows almost unlimited strength in an unfair world where she has no voice. There is a story which continue throughout the movie, one that begins with Parvana narrating it to her baby brother to sooth him. It is told in a coarser animation style but with inventive visual effects which makes it nothing less than stunning. As the movie nears the end the story is somewhat intertwined with the rest of the story to great effect. It gives a sense of magic to a realistic story, which otherwise could have been too bleak for comfort. The most impressive feat is how much it shakes you and how much it says without shouting, like Parvana says: Raise you words not you voice. It is rain that makes the flowers grow, not thunder.
All the main characters are voiced by Afghan actors.