The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner

Parvana is an 11-year-old girl who lives under Taliban rule in Afghanistan in 2001. After the wrongful arrest of her father, Parvana finds a way to support her family. Working alongside a friend, she soon discovers a new world of freedom and danger. Drawing strength from the fantastical stories she invents, Parvana embarks on an epic quest to find her father and reunite her family. Based on the international best selling novel and trilogy by Canadian Deborah Ellis. Directed by Nora Twomey (Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea). An important story told with beautiful hand drawn animation. Deborah Ellis' book has been published in over 25 languages and earned over $1 million in royalties for both Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International.

Note: Bring along a tween and/or teen and use your membership card to pay for their entry. (Tween/teen with a non-member only $8) Notice some of the realistic scenes of violence may upset some younger viewers but themes of perseverance, curiosity, and courage prevail. This gorgeously animated but unflinching tale of a young girl's courage under Taliban rule is a poignant, important reminder about the extreme difficulties that girls and women face in extreme patriarchies but ultimately shows how children are far braver than some might think. Highly recommended for family viewing by Common Sense Media.

Deborah Ellis on the movie: Unfortunately it's still a very timely story, I wish that it wasn't, but we're still looking at a world where there are large portions of it where women don't have even basic human rights for a variety of reasons.

I think what draws people to the story is the sense of courage people bring to horrific situations and it gives us hope.

It's beautifully done. Even if one doesn't know the story, doesn't know about Afghanistan, doesn't care about Afghanistan, it's such a beautiful film and I think people will come away from it being in awe of the landscapes of Afghanistan and the incredible kindness of the people who live there.

Running Time
94 minutes
Release to DVD: T.B.A.

The Critics Comment

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Kenneth Turan/Los Angeles Times
A work of striking beauty and affecting emotional heft enhanced by an Afghan-themed score by Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna, The Breadwinner reminds us yet again that the best of animation takes us anywhere at any time and makes us believe.

Bruce Demara/Toronto Star
The Breadwinner is a well-crafted and inspiring story with an important message about female empowerment, embodied in heroic Parvana, something people of all ages should embrace.

Glenn Kenney/New York Times
Harsh disappointments befall the characters, and they are depicted frankly, but in a way that encourages young viewers to form an affinity with the characters rather than cringe at terror. Sobczynski
Although the story may sound far too dark for younger viewers, I suspect that more thoughtful children may find it an engrossing story of a young heroine facing adversity using nothing more than her bravery and ingenuity.

Indiewire/David Ehrlich
More imaginative than “Coco,” more soulful than “Moana,” more everything than “Despicable Me 3,” Nora Twomey’s “The Breadwinner” cements Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon as an animation powerhouse worth mentioning alongside the likes of Pixar, Laika, and the great Studio Ghibli.

Variety/Peter DeBruge
Though the heroine is a child, and the book was written for young readers, “The Breadwinner” is by no means a simple-minded kidpic; rather, it directly confronts the misogyny and chauvinism of contemporary Afghanistan, while powerfully suggesting that storytelling is both a means of coping and a solution for change.


Annie Awards Winner: Best Independent Animated Feature - Nominated in 10 other categories

Canadian Screen Awards Winner: Best Music, Song, Adapted Screenplay - Nomination: Best Motion Picture and Best Editing

Leeds International Film Festival Winner: Audience Award

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Winner: Best Animation

Monstra International Film Festival Winner: Festival Award

Toronto Film Critics Winner: Best Animated Film

Winner of 12 international awards and nominated for over 40 others

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