From the same studio that brought us The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, the Irish animation house, Cartoon Saloon, has yet again dazzled audiences with a new masterpiece.
The Breadwinner exhibits a similar beautiful visual style as Cartoon Saloon’s previous two movies, but the subject matter strays into darker territory.
Adapted from the novel of the same name, the story is inspired by true events experienced by women and girls in Pakistan’s refugee camps. For her research, the author (Deborah Ellis), spent several months interviewing refugees and used their experiences as the base of the story.
Marry this story with Cartoon Saloon’s distinctive technique and you get a powerful, inspiring story which highlights the struggles of Afghan women. The filmmakers never go far enough to preach or dark enough to remove the studio’s enchanting style. The story exhibits an optimistic tone aided by the protagonist’s good humour and childlike point of view.
The film, and by extension, the studio, deserves so much more mainstream attention; it is criminal how much they are overshadowed by their Hollywood counterparts.
However, both the book and the film are still award-winning (including Best Animated Feature — Independent in the Annies and the Peter Pan Prize for the novel). The film has received a 7.7 on IMDB and a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes with mostly positive reviews.
The movie is worth seeing if you fancy something both enchanting and thought-provoking. You can still see The Breadwinner in some cinemas around the UK.
> Charlotte Lenihan