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The Swallows of Kabul
(Les Hirondelles de Kaboul)

Zabou Breitman, Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec

Based on the eponymous novel by Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra and directed by two women, The Swallows of Kabul is a moving animated drama about two couples struggling under the cruelty of Taliban rule in the Afghan capital.

"An important meditation on freedom in the face of a monstrous regime."

Living in Kabul in the summer of 1998, passionate young lovers Mohsen (voiced by Swann Arlaud) and Zunaira (voiced by Zita Hanrot) try to make the best of the fact that their freedom is severely restricted under the Taliban. Meanwhile, a disillusioned middle-aged couple, prison warden Atiq (voiced by Abkarian) and Mussarat (voiced by Abbass), aren’t just contending with dangerous fundamentalists — her cancer has progressed to such a point that death seems imminent.

This is a sober but gorgeously drawn story, and an important meditation on freedom in the face of a monstrous regime.