|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:
|Ma vie de courgette
|Children's film, Animation
|Approx. 66 min
After his alcoholic mother dies in an accident, nine-year-old Zucchini is sent to Madame Papineau's orphanage. Here he is not the only one who has already had a difficult childhood. This makes living together with the other children, like the cheeky Simon, the quiet Béatrice or the dreamy Ahmed not always easy. But the children pull themselves together and manage to help each other during this difficult time. When Camille joins them, Zucchini falls in love for the first time in his life. And he is indeed happy - at least for a moment. Because Camille's beastly aunt wants to collect the foster money and take the girl to live with her. And Zucchini and his new friends are determined to stop that from happening.
My Life as Zucchini is probably the most unusual animated film of recent years. And at the same time also one of the best. What's unusual isn't just the look of the characters, who are brought to life in stop-motion. They don't look pretty, they are completely overdrawn and almost seem like caricatures. And yet, they are the most authentic animated characters in a very long time. If the look of the characters takes a little getting used to at first, you quickly forget about it. That's because the story is also told in a very unusual way. It is surprisingly dark and of an honesty that is otherwise rarely encountered in children's films.
The team around director Claude Barras has achieved a real feat: although very many terrible topics such as escape from a war zone, abuse of children or alcoholism are addressed and the whole thing begins with Zucchini accidentally killing his mother, the whole thing is not depressing fare. The film trusts its young viewers to have compassion for the children, but not to pity them and become emotionally overwhelmed as a result. Rather, they learn what an important bond friendship can be, and that even in dark hours there is always a glimmer of hope.
My Life as a Zucchini - quite rightly nominated for an Oscar - is a wonderful film, in its gritty way, about children who are confronted with the darker side of life and yet pick up a piece of the happiness they deserve. A film that takes place beyond all clichés and despite heavy themes has a tremendous lightness and a lot of playful humor. In short: A little masterpiece! Absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp