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My Life as a Courgette

My name is Courgette! 

Year: 2016 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Claude Barras 
Starring: Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccoud  
An image from My Life as a Courgette

My life as a Courgette, Claude Barras’ first full-length feature, recounts the story of a little boy, Icare, who is, in fact, not a courgette. His mother, however, used to call him so and he makes it clear multiple times that he prefers to be called like that. Right at the beginning of the animation, Courgette’s life takes an abrupt turn: his mother tragically dies after falling down the stairs. Courgette, whose father abandoned him to “chase some chicks,” has no family to turn to and is thus sent to an orphanage, where his story really begins. All the kids at the orphanage have a difficult past, and live in the attempt to claim back the childhood that their experience has taken away from them. My Life as a Courgette is a family film, yet it is not afraid to put on display the often unspoken uncomfortable realities some children are forced to deal with in their young age. The screenplay is straightforward, honest, not polished with elusive imagery and metaphors: it shamelessly and courageously deals with drug addiction, sexual abuse and death without glossing or romanticising it. The bright primary colours that denote the characters and the settings emphasize the simplicity and innocence of the animation, which dramatically contrast the weighty matters it deals with. My Life as a Courgette is a family film in the sense that it’s a must-watch for all generations, and it is sure to bring tears to the eyes of every person watching it, and maybe even a bitter smile.

Marta Meazza

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Screenings of this film:

2017/2018 Autumn Term (digital)