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Dan Carrier’s movies news: The Breadwinner; McKellen: Playing the Part

25 May, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Ian McKellen

THE Breadwinner is the highly celebrated anima­ted film by Nora Twomey that takes the viewer to Kabul, under the rule of the Taliban. Set in 2001, hero Parvena becomes her family’s main source of income after her father is thrown in prison.

The Taliban will not allow women out without a male to chaperone them, so Parvena has to disguise herself to keep her family from starving. Inter­twined with the harsh reality she faces, Parvena recounts magical stories to her brother – a form of escape but also a dual thread to the plot.

Twomey was nomina­ted for an Oscar for her work and the Irish film maker has created a film that works across ages and on different levels.

• McKellen: Playing the Part is Joe Stephenson’s documentary that tells us all about that hallowed thesp, Sir Ian.

I’m reminded of the time he was with a group of earnest RADA undergraduates, talking about the stage, Shakespeare, and the like. At the Q&A at the end, when those gathered were asking fawning luvvie-style questions to show their own intense relationship with stepping out, grease-painted, into the spotlight, one student asked: “So, who would win a fight between Magneto [McKellen’s character in the X Men films] and Gandalf?” Sir Ian replied, in his deep, English drawl: “Dear boy, don’t be ridiculous – Gandalf is said to be well over 2,500 years old. He’s clearly indestructible.”

If you like Sir Ian – and who doesn’t? – or have any interest in film and theatre, then this documentary will grab you.

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