The Swallows of Kabul
The Swallows of Kabul

Les hirondelles de Kaboul (The Swallows of Kabul) | Zabou Breitman & Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec |
France, Luxembourg, Switzerland | 2019 | 81 min

In Taliban controlled Kabul in 1998, holding on to hope is a struggle. Young couple Zunaira and Mohsen are in love and hopeful that things will change for the better; until Zunaira is put in prison. Prison warden Atiq has seen too much horror in his life to hold onto hope; until a new prisoner arrives. The film, based on Yasmina Khadra’s 2002 bestselling novel, articulates in beautiful watercolour-style animation the mortiferous environment surrounding the characters. The Taliban’s barbarism, given some distance through the delicate animation, is essential to the suspense of the characters’ interconnected stories. Swallows is a morally complex feature full of tragedy and sacrifice but as Zunaira tells her husband, “One must live.”

"In a time where the world is feeling increasingly divided and veering towards sub-mental attitudes about gender, sexuality and nation, The Swallows of Kabul offers a sliver of hope as it cautions us about the horrifying consequences of extremist mentalities."
- Chris Robinson, AWN

Individual tickets will be available online and at the door.

* * *

À Kaboul, en 1998, ville contrôlée par le Taliban, il n’est pas facile de garder espoir. Zunaira et Mohsen, un jeune couple amoureux, espèrent que les choses vont s’améliorer; jusqu’au moment où Zunaira est envoyée en prison. Le gardien de prison, Atiq, a vu trop d’horreurs dans sa vie pour avoir encore de l’espoir; jusqu’à l’arrivée d’une nouvelle prisonnière. Le film, basé sur le roman bestseller de 2002 de Yasmina Khadra, articule dans un magnifique style d’aquarelle l’environnement mortifère qui entoure les personnages. Le barbarisme du Taliban, adouci par l’animation délicate, est essentiel au suspens des histoires interreliées des personnages. Les hirondelles de Kaboul est un long métrage complexe sur le plan moral rempli de tragédies et de sacrifices, mais il faut vivre, comme Zunaira le dit à son mari.

Des billets individuels seront disponibles sur notre site internet et à la porte.


Wednesday, September 25 — 7:00 pm (GALA)

Saturday, September 28 — 9:15 pm

About the Directors:
Zabou Breitman: At four years old, Zabou played in one of the episodes of the TV show “Thierry la Fronde” alongside her father, Jean-Claude Deret. Zabou studied cinema, modern Greek and English for her bachelor’s degree and attended the Simon course.

She was an Animator at “Recré A2” in the 80s ands made her film debut in 1982. Often playing more comedic roles (BANZAÏ, THE BEAUF, PROMOTION SOFA), it did not take long for her to distinguish herself.

In the 90s, she worked with filmmakers like Diane Kurys (LA BAULE-LES-PINS, 1990), Coline Serreau (THE CRISIS, 1992), Philippe Lioret (CORRESPONDENCE REQUIRED, 1997) and Pierre Jolivet (MY SMALL COMPANY, 1999), or the Jaoui / Bacri tandem in KITCHEN AND DEPENDENCY in 1993.

In 2001, she directed her first feature film, BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES, with Bernard Campan and Isabelle Carré. The film was awarded with 3 Césars including best first feature film. This was followed in 2006 with THE MAN OF MY LIFE and in 2009, JE L’AIMAIS. During this decade, Zabou Breitman acted in the films of Michel Deville (ALMOST PEACEFUL, 2002), Gilles Lellouche (NARCO, 2004) and Rémi Bezançon (THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, 2008). She acted under the direction of Pierre Schoeller, THE MINISTER with Olivier Gourmet and the PERFUME OF THE LADY IN BLACK by Bruno Podalydes.

In 2010 she directed her fourth feature film NO ET MOI, based on the novel by Delphine De Vigan.

In 2017, she co-wrote and directed the TV series “Paris Etc.” for Canal Plus. At the same time, she has pusured a successful career as a theater director, notably with “Winter under the table” (Molière du Metteur en Scène 2003), Roland Topor, “Des Gens”, an adaptation of Molière’s work by Raymond Depardon and “La Compagnie des spectres” (2010) by Lydie Salvayre.

Currently her show “logiquimperturbabledufou” is being performed at the Theater du Rond-Point.

Eléa Gobbe-Mévellec: After graduating in Applied Arts, Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec joined the Ecole des Gobelins in 2003. Her first two short films, MADAME (made during her studies in 2006 ) and ESCALE (2010) were selected at the Annecy.

In addition to her work as a graphic designer on television sets and advertising for luxury brands, she also worked as an animator on short films like BANG BANG! by Julien Bisaro, nominated at the 2015 César Awards for the best animated film, and SMART MONKEY by Vincent Paronnaud (Winshluss) and Nicolas Pawlowski.

Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec continued her career as a character animator for feature films such as ERNEST AND CÉLESTINE, THE RABBI’S CAT, THE DAY OF THE CROWS and APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD. In 2016, she collaborated as a cartoonist on the animated series ‘Lastman’, an adaptation of the comic strip created by Bastien Vivès, Balak and Michaël Sanlaville.

THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL is her first feature film as Director.

Learn More

Reviews & Articles:
Screen Daily