‘There’s nobody left to love us.’
At only 65 minutes long, My Life As A Courgette (from 2017) doesn’t demand much of your time. And in return you get an absolute happy-sad delight of a movie. Told through stop-motion animation, there’s two versions available. The original in French, the title of which when translated is My Life As A Zucchini, with English subtitles – or the English dubbed version currently available on the Film4 website. Watch either as this is a rare instance where the dubbed version is just as good as the subbed version.
It’s the story of a young boy called Courgette’s. When his alcoholic mother dies he meets police officer Raymond (voiced by Nick Offerman, best known for the iconic Ron in Parks & Recreation) who brings him to an orphanage, the place where he will learn to trust and learn to love after a life of trauma.
What follows is some truly moving cinema which, at times, feels heart shattering. It, like life perhaps, is made up of a series of key moments. We learn who Courgette is and care for him from the opening sequence – his story, and those of his peers, are stories that feel all too familiar in real life but are that rarely seen in cinema. The orphanage is a place of true refuge for Courgette – from the outside world, from his past and from himself. It’s a place that rescues him and shows him that there is some good in the world.
Though the film may have tragic emotional depths it also possesses the brightest of lights. It shows that the very worst of unimaginable things can happen, yet the human spirit can prevail. Love may not conquer all but it can help us heal, recover and keep on living.