The Breadwinner: The pity of Oscar animation.

They are the main competitors for Oscar 2018 animation movie. ‘Coco’ introduces the great fancy death world but ‘The breadwinner’ tells the reality about the people, especially female, who encounter the destruction of war and terrorism.

The poster of Oscar main competitor called: The Breadwinner.(Credit to IMDb)

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As the sunrise, Parvana goes to the market with her father who lost a leg during the war. In the market, she is sitting down on the floor then taking out the red skirt with beautiful jewellery. However, she never wore the beautiful skirt.

Under the domination of Taliban, the rights of female were ignored because of the extreme terrorism rules. Female is not allowed to go to the streets without the company with male or they will be beaten. Also, they are not allowed to purchase any goods and even not allowed to talk with others outside. The animation starts from this background.

Parvana has to sell her skirt for family income.

‘The Breadwinner’ happens in a small town in Afghanistan where is controlled by the terrorism. Maybe the visual expression is not such amazing as ‘Coco’ but the strong and clear 2D picture-printed style is showing the depressive emotion.

The story writer, Deborah Ellis, is a charitarian, pacifist and feminist, who had worked in Afghanistan for a long time. She works a lot to change the unequal situation for female. This story reshapes the cruel reality in real life.

There are various details that show how female’s rights were damaged by terrorism. Not far away from Parvana and her father’s stall, a fruit businessman is investigated by the member of Taliban because of selling his goods to female. Also, after Parvana’s father was imprisoned, Parvana has to go outside to buy some foods for her family, but she was recognised as a girl. Therefore, the businessman says, “Get your father to pay food for you.” This picture shows peacefully but it looks so depressed that female cannot move alone in the street and they cannot survive in the life without the male.

This unfair treatment pushes the 11-year-old girl to change her feminine image. Parvana decides to cut her hair and pretend as a boy. Long hair is generally the traditional signal of the female in daily life. Cutting the hair implies that Parvana starts to shoulder the responsibilities for her family, without being able to do anything except pretending.

When dressing up as a boy, she dares to walk without wearing a headscarf. It is amazing that she carefully climbs up to sit on the discarded tank. Looking forward to seeing the future of Goa’s blue waters in the photo. This is not just liberated from the discrimination of female but also talking their dream of living in a peaceful place. Therefore, she is able to seek information about his father and help him out of prison without the limitation of female identity.

This scene has never appeared in Parvana’s life until she chooses to dress up like a boy.

In addition to the realistic story, there is another romantic story, they cooperate with each other. Another story describes there is a boy who fights against the elephant king because this king steals the seed for next year harvest. During the tour of finding the king, he was hunted by monsters and the tour is cover by the shadow of scary. His feeling also reflects the emotion of Parvana. Parvana definitely feels scary when she dresses up as a boy and she might be arrested if her gender is discovered.

This is the most attractive part of ‘The Breadwinner’, using the story that carries all inner worlds of Parvana. How the boy feels means the feeling of Parvana. It describes that the real life is painful, but she can dream of the positive future. This plot make this normal cartoon become the fine art which deserves the opportunity to win the Oscar golden man.

The films stop at the end of Parvana telling the stories about the homeland to her father and her sister getting together with her mother after leaving the help of their relatives. However, nobody knows the future of Parvana’s family. What will happen after she gets her father out of prison? Will the family gather together again? Will they survive in the upcoming war? Will they find a safe place to restart their life without Taliban? It is an open ending for the audience to imagine.

This animation tells the strengthen of Parvana as well as the strong hearts of the whole national people. This suffering nation has witnessed a large number of wars happen in their homeland and different fighters come from various empires. However, this nation is not giving up to live and rebuild their family then continuing their life.

To live is to hope. Just like the movie said, “We are the land whose people are the greatest treasure.”


Degree of recommendation: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐