My Life As A Courgette
Director: Claude Barras.
Starring: Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Elliot Sanchez. Switzerland/France 2016. 66 mins.
Swiss director Claude Barras’s debut feature is a beautifully rendered, stop-motion animation, adapted by the gifted screenwriter Céline Sciamma (Girlhood, Tomboy) from Giles Paris’s eponymous novel. The improbably nicknamed Courgette (Schlatter) is a shy, bug-eyed kid, consigned to an orphanage after his alcoholic mother’s sudden death. However, Courgette’s unhappiness is tempered by the kindly policeman who escorts him to his new home and adventures with the other misfit children – a football-loving tomboy, shy Alice and an introverted dinosaur fan – are cleverly wrought to show how lessons learnt can shape a child’s character and prepare them for adult life. The story of the growing pains of youngsters is lovingly told, the animation and colouring terrific - all brilliantly befitting the narrative of a film that’s much more than simply kids’ entertainment.