“Ma Famille Afghane” (My Sunny Maad in English) is the great surprise (animated) film of the spring. Made by Michaela Pavlátová, who runs the Academy of performative arts in Prague, it is the story of Herra, a beautiful Czech Economics student who meets Nazir, an Afghan, at university, and decides to follow him to Kabul in 2001. Adapted from a novel Freshta by Petra Procházkova, it won many prizes and was nominated to the Golden Globes 2021. Because Herra cannot get pregnant, she adopts a young singular boy Maad, who will change the whole family’s synergy. the drawings are spectacular and the story very well developed far from extremisms.
While she discreetly attempts to help her sister in-law who is married to a brutal husband, Herra tries to live withstanding the other’s jealousy and joins the efforts of Afghan women who try to remain free within the closed family. The relationship with her husband is particularly well rendered and the director managed to show that a European woman can survive the rules of a traditional Afghan family and fall in love with the country. The film is extremely pretty and gracious and the strong relationship with Nazir is particularly interesting.
But what is mostly appealing is the beauty of the illustrations and the sensitivity of the portraits. The tensions between sexes and cultures are always present but Herra finds happiness in her contrived new life. I was very taken by the poetry of the movie and given the situation today in Afghanistan, it is twice as powerful.
The film comes out in France on Wednesday 27 April under the name “Ma Famille Afghane“.
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