Director: Nora Twomey
Starring: Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Ali Badshah
Parvana is a girl growing up in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Her father (Nurullah) is arrested one day and unless there is a boy or man present to escort them outside, Parvana, her older sister (Soraya) and her mother cannot go outside. Parvana does have a younger brother (Zaki) but he is too small to be an escort (this is my conclusion, not something that the movie stated). Parvana’s mother (Fattema) goes with Parvana to make the long trip to the prison in hopes to find news on the condition of Parvana’s father; they figure if they do not draw attention to themselves then hopefully they can make it to the prison.
Unfortunately they are caught and Fattema is beaten. They go back home and Fattema is utterly defeated. It seems that they are to stay home and slowly starve to death. Parvana decides to cut off her hair, wear boy’s clothing and provide for her family. This is dangerous because if she is caught she will be killed but there is freedom in being a boy. Parvana is able to work, buy food, get water, etc without major issues. Parvana meets Shauzia who is a girl who also dresses up like a boy; they become friends and work jobs to make money. Throughout the story, Parvana continues telling the tale her father had started about a boy who goes into the mountains to face the elephant king and get the seeds that were stolen from his village (seeds the village needs to plant in order to have food).
I cried while watching this movie. I cried as Fattema was beaten, I cried when Parvana and her friend were getting shot at and I cried near the end when Parvana is at the prison begging to see her father.
I want to be as brave as Parvana one day, to find a way to accomplish my goals even when everything is going against me. Parvana touched the little girl in me, who climbed trees, questioned the mailman until he was scared and never wanted to have children. The little girl I was before I was weighed down by fear and others’ expectations of how I must act because I am a girl. That little girl in me is awake once again and together we will find our path.
My hope is that one day we as women can live in a world that we can reach our fullest potential and everyone is fine with that!