My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de courgette) 3.0 stars

My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de courgette) movie poster

The sins of the fathers (and mothers) are visited upon the children in Claude Barras’s brief, stop-motion tale of little ones finding love among the ruins. The film mounts a direct assault on the heart’s tender parts — when we meet our young protagonist, he’s flying a kite that shows his absent father as a superhero on one side, and one of the chickens he so liked to chase on the other. And then he builds a pyramid from his mother’s empty beer cans. When an inadvertent disaster lands him in a group home, he hears that many of his fellows have had it even worse, and they’ve got the damage and sad coping mechanisms to prove it. They struggle to understand the adult world that has left them so bereft, and they struggle to live together with something approximating normalcy, but they don’t struggle to take happiness where they can. That part comes naturally. The animation serves to soften the blows while at the same time slowing the pace for maximum absorption of effect. In French with English subtitles. 2016.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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