How An Animated Film Blurred The Lines Of Gender Norms In The Eastern World

How An Animated Film Blurred The Lines Of Gender Norms In The Eastern World

A review of Nora Twomey's "The Breadwinner."

This past weekend I spent about two hours hunting for something to watch when I finally settled for an animated movie called "The Breadwinner." And boy, that was a rollercoaster ride. I can say that it's the most accurate depiction I have seen so far of a war-ravaged world.

The story is set in Afghanistan in a city overrun by the Taliban. It opens up with a young girl named Parvana who is seen selling a few articles of clothing with her father in a busy market. Parvana longingly stares at a handmade red dress on sale that she adores, but as her father justifies, there's no need for such items in their world. There's a fine line that must be drawn between necessities and wants, even for a child deprived of childhood too soon. Even simple dialogue such as "Anything written. Anything read," gives the viewer an insight into this dystopia. Something as basic as knowledge and literacy is highly valuable and assigned a price. It is also brought to the viewer's attention that no seller in the market can serve anything to a woman unless she is accompanied by a male from the household.

Parvana's father is arrested after being accused of unlawfully teaching the women in his house. Without any other older male figure in the house, Parvana disguises herself as a boy to provide for her family and to find a means to rescue her father. She uses her imagination to make up stories that give herself and her remaining family courage to part on this journey she has decided to embark on.

Even despite these few words I have summed up, the story cannot be merely summarized because missing any detail would unrightfully deprive the movie of its intricate story. The viewer is drawn in to realize the value of meager things that are basic to their lives, but for Parvana's world, those things are nothing short of a fantasy.

Something as simple as choosing the main character's name was involved in the story-making process as far as I can tell. "Parvana" is a name which means "butterfly." One can see how young Parvana transforms from a caterpillar into a butterfly by the end of the film.

Cover Image Credit: The Breadwinner / Trailer Addict

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17 'Winnie The Pooh' Quotes To Remember When You're About To Have A Final Exam Panic Attack

"People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day."


Stressed AF about finals?

Let Pooh take the wheel:

1. "You're braver than you believe and stronger and smarter than you think." 

2. "Think it over, think it under." 

3. "Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." 

4. "People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day." 

5. "It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"

6.  "Think, think, think." 

7. "The nicest thing about the rain is that it always stops. Eventually." 

8. "Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be." 

9. "To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks." 

10. "Home is the comfiest place to be." 

11. "So perhaps the best thing to do is to stop writing introductions, and get on with the book." 

12. "I must go forward to where I have never been instead of backwards where I have." 

13. "One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries." 

14. "Life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved." 

15. "It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine." 

16. "Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known."

17. My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places."

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