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Feature Film

TEASER: French 2D Feature ‘The Swallows of Kabul’ Set For 2019 Release

The Swallows of Kabul (Les Hirondelles de Kaboul) is a watercolor-styled 2D animated feature from France, currently scheduled for release in 2019.

French producer Les Armateurs (The Triplets of Belleville, Ernest & Celestine, The Secret of Kells) launched a Facebook page for the film yesterday. Here is the test teaser for the film that was produced a few years ago:

Swallows is notably directed by two women: French actress-turned-director Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobbé-Mevellec (designer on Lastman and animator on films like The Rabbi’s Cat, The Prophet, and April and the Extraordinary World). Adapted from a 2002 bestselling novel by Yasmina Khadra, here’s the synopsis for the film version:

Summer 2001, Kabul in ruins is occupied by the Taliban. Two neighborhoods and two couples.

One conservative – Atiq and Mussarat have been married for 20 years and are deeply engrained in the traditions of Afghan life. Atiq works as the chief guard at the women’s prison. Mussarat is very ill and fights to remain a strong woman till the very end.

One modern – young and in love, Zunaira and Mohsen are against all the same traditions. Under the Taliban, they’ve both lost their jobs as lawyer and university teacher and have difficulties to make ends meet. They have to sell their few possessions to buy food. Yet they ́re determined to maintain their modern values.

One day, a stoning. Then an act of humiliation. Then a fight… and life takes an irrevocable turn. When the lives of these diametrically opposite couples become intertwined, sacrifice becomes the price to pay for love.

Swallows is set up as a co-production between Les Armateurs, Mélusine Productions, Close Up Films, Mystéo, and KNM. Memento Films will distribute in France, while Celluloid Dreams is the international sales agent. The last reported budget for the movie was 5.2 million euros (about $5.7 million USD).

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    As the film is set in 2001,I wonder if it will end with the events of 9/11?

    • GetOutOfMyLawn

      Not read the book. But I would bet for an ending in december, with the ousting of the talibans fron Kabul. Maybe that could relate more direcly to the lives of the two couples than 9/11, thousands miles away.

  • Cameron Ward

    This has me super excited. This is one of those trailers and films that show that animation doesn’t need to be just kids stuff. I am just going to have to wait for this to come over…hopefully GKids can pick this up or something

  • Kabelo Maaka

    Oh great to see this online. I first saw this teaser in March at The Cape Town International Animation Festival.

  • Marc Hendry

    WOAH that watercolour look is amazing

  • Mister Twister

    If it’s set in 2001, then nobody can claim it to be a commentary on modern events.

  • David

    Can’t wait for this.