I Lost My Body: Jeremy Clapin Original French Feature–One of 2019 Best Animation

The most original feature I saw at the International Critics Weeks in the 2019 Cannes Film Fest was Jérémy Clapin’s animated film I Lost My Body.

I Lost My Body won the top prize at Critics Week, the first time in this section’s history that the award is  given to an animation.

I am glad to report that the feature was acquired by Netflix and is available on the streaming service (after a short theatrical run), both in its original French and redubbed into English, with actors Dev Patel and Alia Shawkat.

Though its running time is only 81 minutes, the movie is rich in ideas, feelings, and a text and subtext that are open to interpretation.

I Lost My Body tells a romantic story about a young man named Naofel who falls in love with a woman named Gabrielle.

Meanwhile, there is the peculiar story of a severed hand, blessed with a mind of its own, trying to find its way back to its former human body.

Clapin told the first audiences in Cannes that he did not want to make a scary horror story about a severed hand, nor did he wish to use a quirky or macabre humor a la American Addams Family.

Instead, he wished to tell an emotionally touching story about loss and destiny, with the solitary hand vis a vis former body host as its dramatic center: “The subject is a severed hand, but the film is not about a severed hand. It’s about the missing part of the rest of the body.”

This is the reason why the feature is not titled “The Hand,” but “I Lost My body,” based on the director’s goal to “bring a new perception of reality, how you explore character, how you can tell stories, how you see the world and experience the world in a different way.”