The Swallows of Kabul (Les hirondelles de Kaboul)


Lark Theatre Fri, Oct 4, 2019 6:00 PM
Century Larkspur Sat, Oct 5, 2019 11:15 AM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Mind the Gap
Running Time:82 min.
Premiere Status:North American
Director:Zabou Breitman
Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec
Producer:Réginald de Guillebon
Stéphane Roelants
Joëlle Bertossa
Michel Merkt
Olivier Père
Screenwriter:Sébastien Tavel
Patricia Mortagne
Zabou Breitman
Editor:Françoise Bernard
Cast:Hiam Abbass
Zita Hanrot
Swann Arlaud
Simon Abkarian
Jean-Claude Deret
Print Source:Pascale Ramonda
Note Writer:Shari Kizirian


Two married couples in Kabul, living under the callous rule of the Afghan Taliban, find their destinies intertwined in this beautiful animated feature based on the eponymous international bestseller. Actor-director Zabou Breitman teams with animator Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec (The Rabbi’s Cat) for this exquisitely cinematic and deeply moving tale of injustice, hope, love, and survival. Rendered in hand-drawn, delicate watercolors, The Swallows of Kabul has its weighty subject matter leavened by keen detail—the indigo smudges of the city at twilight, a wheelbarrow laden with stones, a forbidden pair of white pumps. The soundtrack is sparse, and the dialogue is uniquely rooted in realism, the cast—including Hiam Abbass (I Still Hide to Smoke, MVFF 2017) and Swann Arlaud (By the Grace of God, MVFF 2019)—interacting in recorded performance. The film’s artistry, along with its sympathetically drawn characters, turns the story of four individuals linked by their extraordinary circumstances into a universal tale of endurance and survival.


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Additional Information

Paris native Zabou Breitman is a long-time screen actor who made her writing-directing debut with Beautiful Memories (2001), winning a Best First Work of Fiction César Award. Her other films include The Man of My Life (2006), Je l’aimais (2009), and No et moi (2010).

Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec makes her directing debut with The Swallows of Kabul (2019). She got her start as an animator on films that include The Rabbi’s Cat (2011), The Magic Snowflake (2013), and the short Bang Bang! (2014).