Les hirondelles de Kaboul

Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec, France, Luxembourg, 2019o


The story of two couples in Kabul in 1998: The student couple Zunaira and Mohsen suffer under the Taliban's terror regime, which nips any expression of joie de vivre in the bud, forces women under the burqa and spreads fear and terror with arbitrary violence. The aging guerrilla fighter and prison guard Tarik, for his part, is trapped in marriage with his terminally ill wife, whom he once married out of gratitude instead of love. An incident with fatal consequences connects the lives of the four characters in a fearsome and miraculous way. - Adapted from the novel of the same name by Yasmina Khadras.

Some conditions are so appalling, the stories that emerge from them so sad that a naturalistic representation would be almost unbearable and stylization is necessary. Yet it is precisely this abstraction and reduction, which often contains the magic of art, that can give rise to its own poetry, such as a paradoxical beauty in the depiction of horror, as happens here when the French illustrator Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec transforms the scenes from the Kabul of terrible terror into enchanting pictures with fragile lines and the pastel shades of watercolour technique. The plot, probably due to the original, exerts some melodramatic effort, the punch line is foreseeable at some point, but this hardly diminishes the pull and attraction of this drama, in which humanity finally celebrates a quiet victory over monstrosity.

Andreas Furler

Wie übersetzt man den Alltag einer Schreckensherrschaft in Bilder? Zabou Breitman und Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec entwerfen mit wasserfarbenen Animationen ein vielschichtiges Figurenkabinett. Durch den harten Kontrast zur Realität bringen sie damit eine zwischen Horror und Hoffnung mäandrierende Geschichte auf kunstvolle Weise zum Fliegen.

Hans Jürg Zinsli

Si Les Hirondelles de Kaboul n'est pas parfait, il recèle suffisamment de grandes qualités pour emporter totalement l'adhésion du spectateur. Récit terriblement émouvant d'une révolte à priori impossible, il nous ramène face à nos engagements et à nos doutes. Face à notre désir de révolte aussi et nous invite à choisir la seule voie possible, celle du coeur. Avec toutes les conséquences que cela implique...

Christophe Foltzer

Film d'animation étonnant, qui bénéficie d'une méthode de fabrication inédite -les comédiens ont été filmés puis redessinés et animés-, Les Hirondelles de Kaboul doit sa réussite à son scénario adapté du roman de Yasmina Khadra, à sa mise en scène et au jeu de ses comédiens.

La Rédaction


Variety, 5/15/2019
All rights reserved Variety. Provided by Variety Archiv
The Upcoming, 5/15/2019
All rights reserved The Upcoming. Provided by The Upcoming Archiv
All rights reserved Filmbulletin. Provided by Filmbulletin Archiv
All rights reserved Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Provided by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Archiv
Ecran Large, 9/8/2019
All rights reserved Ecran Large. Provided by Ecran Large Archiv
Interview avec Zabou Breitman et Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec
/ Daily Movies
fr / 6/20/2016 / 15‘43‘‘

Documentary: Generation A: What Next For Afghanistan?
/ Real Stories
en / 3/21/2018 / 50‘00‘‘

Report: Afghan artists risk lives to return style, music, and culture to their country
/ Russian Times
en / 2/4/2018 / 27‘30‘‘

Movie Datao

Other titles
The Swallows of Kabul EN
Animation, Romance, Drama
Running time
80 Min.
Original language
ØYour rating7.3/10
IMDB user:
7.4 (2540)
< 10 votes
6.8 (4) q

Cast & Crewo

Simon AbkarianAtiq
Hiam AbbassMussarat
Zita HanrotZunaira


Interview avec Zabou Breitman et Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec
Daily Movies, fr , 15‘43‘‘
Documentary: Generation A: What Next For Afghanistan?
Real Stories, en , 50‘00‘‘
Report: Afghan artists risk lives to return style, music, and culture to their country
Russian Times, en , 27‘30‘‘
Review Variety
Alissa Simon
Review The Upcoming
Joseph Owen
Review Filmbulletin
Christian Gasser
Kritik zur literarischen Vorlage
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Felicitas von Lovenberg
Review Ecran Large
Christophe Foltzer
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