What does this film, set in 2000 Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, tell us about the misogyny at the heart of Taliban governance? How does the bully character Idrees instantiate this? How does the film’s portrayal of Parvana and her father show they have values and goals that are in conflict with this world-view? How does Parvana’s disguising herself as her deceased brother show not only her bravery, creativity and moral courage, but the degree to which the society is retarded in its development due to its treatment of women and girls? How does Parvana’s choice to take on the role of a boy illustrate Stoic battle doctrine, or strategic advice as she adopts to what she cannot control, while taking on the role of male breadwinner for the sake of her family? How does the older, more sympathetic male Taliban character Razaq help her, yet illustrate the lack of moral courage and bet-hedging behavior in the male population of Afghanistan? Does this tentative and self-protective behavior on the part of most Afghan men doom any tentative steps toward progress or liberalization of the culture?

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