Based on the novel Frišta by Petra Procházková, My Sunny Maad is a moving animated film that describes how far people go for family.
By Michaela Pavlatova My sunny maad is one of three films in competition at the 2021 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. The three animated films represent wars within the Middle East and / or Central Asia. The other two films, the excellent Run away and how disappointing Lamya Poem, focus on refugees escaping wars in their country and fleeing to Europe. Of many ways, My sunny maad tells the opposite story: it is about a white Czech woman named Helena who falls in love with an Afghan classmate and leaves Prague for Kabul in the early 2010. However, Helena has no idea what life is like post-Taliban in Afghanistan and the adjustments that will be required of it and, in some cases, the decisions that it will be forced to make.
Based on the novel Cool by Petra Procházková, the animated film touches on many themes, from culture clashes to the horrors of war, but more than anything, it focuses on the extremes that people will go to with their families.
During the course of the film, Helena changes her name to Herra, giving up much of her freedom to marry her beloved Nazir. In public, he faces extreme misogyny. Privately, she and the other women in Nazir’s family lead rich and satisfying interpersonal lives. The other Westerners in the feminist NGO she works for are baffled by her willingness to submit to her husband. She dreams of having children, but struggles with fertility and ends up adopting a stubborn boy named Mohammed (Maad for short) who has clearly been through some horrible situations.
Others may talk about whether My sunny maadThe description of life in post-Taliban Afghanistan is accurate, but the film is an interesting life story. Nazir’s extended family offers a wide range of perspectives and personalities. Nazir’s family and their different personalities range from rebellious to fundamentalist and from warm to tough demeanors. The film’s narrative is episodic and the animation has a lovely cartoonish character. The first two-thirds of the 80-minute movie is surprisingly easy to watch. Despite all the problems this family faces, there is a sense of life and people who adapt to their circumstances with palpable humor and love.
However, the movie also shows that some circumstances cannot be adjusted in life. Throughout the film’s first hour, the war in Afghanistan is approached through stories of American bombs missing, awkward encounters with soldiers, watching the news, and of course the trauma etched on Maad’s face. . In the final act, violence takes center stage and My sunny maad it quickly becomes one of the saddest animated films ever made. His mother, Herra, is forced to make difficult decisions. The public may or may not agree with her decisions, but whatever judgment is made of the situation, this mother’s willingness to make her adopted son happy is incredibly moving.
Directed by Michaela Pavlatova, My Sunny Maad features the voices of Zuzana Stivínova, Shahid Maqsoodi, Haji Gul Asir, Martha Issova, Hynek Cermak, and Ivan Trojan.
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