Courgette (Zucchini) is an intriguing nickname for a 9-year-old boy. Although his unique story is surprisingly universal. After his mother's disappearance, Courgette is befriended by a police officer Raymond, who accompanies him to his new foster home filled with other orphans his age. At first he struggles to find his place in this strange, at times, hostile environment. Yet with Raymond's help and his new-found friends, Courgette eventually learns to trust and might find true love.
The book that Camille is reading while Alice jumps is "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka. Published in 1915, it tells the story of a man who woke up one day transformed into a huge insect. See more »
When Courgette arrives at Les Fontaines the other children are shown in the close up shot of the window in mirror form (Alice's parting to the right, Simon's quiff to the left and Jujube's plaster on the left). See more »
Your mum is no longer there, Icare.
My name is Courgette!
Courgette... Did your mum call you that? Hm. My name is Raymond.
Did your mum call you that?
See more »
About halfway through the credits, we see an animated sequence based, apparently, on the lead actor's audition tape. See more »
Written by Martin Eicher
Performed by Grauzone See more »
A story of caring and sentiment without being sentimental.
"Many people, for many reasons, feel rootless - but orphans and abandoned or abused children have particular cause." Christina Baker Kline
Stories about orphans such as Dickens' Oliver Twist have a special place--they remind us of what a gift family is. Having loving parents and siblings provides safe haven from hunger of the stomach and the heart. Claude Barras' moving stop- motion animation, My Life as a Zucchini, explores the plight of seven young orphans with emphasis on Zucchini, a name given to him by his drunken mother.
As he goes off to an orphanage, he discovers more challenges than being with his mom, whose memory he keeps by carrying around one of her discarded beer cans. The usual bully (Simon) is in residence along with some meek kids and with Camille, a saucy ten year old ready to take on Simon's cynicism and Zucchini's love.
As you can tell by the entrance of Camille, all is not lost at this homeless haven, much less the emerging sense of cooperation and compassion. The film gently approaches each major crisis with equanimity, relying not on easy solutions or catastrophes but on the emerging sense of cooperation and sincere love.
It's difficult to determine what makes this animation so human with its characters and their eccentricities; all I know is that I felt deeply about each orphan right down to the wicked aunt. It's not sentimental, mind you, just powerfully humane and deserving its Oscar nomination for best animation.
Could it be the Keane-like big eyes, so expressively alive with emotion? Possibly so. At any rate, this animation will appeal to all ages and answer some age-old questions about the depth of loneliness and the salvation adoption can bring.
"Orphanages are the only places that ever left me feeling empty and full at the same time." John M. Simmons
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