(Les hirondelles de Kaboul)
Directed by Zabou Breitman & Eléa Gobbé-Mevellec
80 min | 2019 | Luxembourg, France, Switzerland | Not Rated
Presented in French with English subtitles.
“No man owes anything whatsoever to a woman.” In Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, in the late 1990s, the reign of the Taliban has plunged local society into obscurantism, under the iron rule of the Sharia and its armed zealots. The university is destroyed, music is forbidden, stonings are taking place in the middle of the street, and public executions in the national stadium open football matches: fear has seized the consciousness and everyday lives of the citizens. And for all the women forced to be escorted to walk the city streets and condemned to stay hidden under the traditional burka with its grid at eye level, this life was synonymous with nothingness, male domination having taken crushing proportions in the name of religion (and in the name of mass control). It is at the heart of this very dark period, which unfortunately is still being repeated across the world and should always be denounced, that Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra had chosen to immerse herself, in her excellent best-selling novel “The Swallows of Kabul” (published in 2002).
Nominated: Un Certain Regard Prize–2019 Cannes Film Festival; Official Selection: 2019 Mill Valley Film Festival