The Swallows of Kabul

The Swallows of Kabul Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec, France | Luxembourg | Switzerland, 2018, 84 min, in French with English Subtitles
Winner, Gan Award, Annecy International Animation Film Festival; Nominated, Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film FestivalCanadian Premiere

Saturday, 2 November 2019, 9:00 PM, Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario

Summer 1998, Kabul in ruins is occupied by the Taliban. In love despite the daily violence and misery, Mohsen and Zunaira want to believe in the future. But a senseless act by Mohsen will upset their lives forever.

Two couples at very different phases of life find their destinies intertwined in The Swallows Of Kabul (Les Hirondelles De Kaboul), a melancholy animated drama about the cruelty of Taliban rule. Giving Yasmina Khadra’s 2002 novel a tasteful watercolour treatment, directors Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec risk stripping away the story’s moral indignation in favour of something more bittersweet and restrained. And yet, this tale of repression and injustice is potent enough to overcome the inevitable distancing that occurs because of the animation process. – Screen Daily