‘I Lost My Body’ Review: An Emotional Animated Film About a Severed Hand That Goes on an Adventure [Sitges 2019]

/Film | 10/18/2019 | Rafael Motamayor
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Watch out The Addams Family! There’s only one true animated film about a severed hand, and it’s the Netflix film I Lost My Body. Jeremy Clapin’s impressive first feature, this French animated movie is an artsy, macabre, mostly very emotional story told from the point of view of a severed hand with a case of reverse missing limb, who is on an epic quest to reunite with its owner.

Taking a minimalist, nearly lyrical approach to storytelling, Clapin opens his movie with a black-and-white flashback (one of many throughout the film) of a young Moroccan boy, Naoufel (Hakim Faris) whose father is teaching him how to capture a fly with his bare hands. Then we cut forward to a fridge in a small room, out of which comes a severed hand. After freeing itself from a plastic packaging and jumping out a window, it begins an arduous and frenetic journey through Paris. It’s a series of misadventures as the film flashes back and forth between the hand’s travels and Naoufel’s youth and moments leading to him being separated from his hand.

Naoufel - Story - Longing - Happiness - Script

Naoufel’s story is one of deep longing for happiness. Based on a script by Amélie writer Guillaume Laurant, adapted from his own 2006 novel Happy Hand, I Lost My Body follows his childhood as he has to move to Paris following a tragedy that takes his family from him, and he takes up a job at a pizza delivery boy. He hates the job and is not very good at it, but one day he happens to meet Gabrielle (Victoire Du Bois), a hip librarian with whom he quickly becomes obsessed, following her to her uncle’s carpentry studio where he asks for an apprentice job.

With a pitch-perfect pace and a brisk 80-minute runtime, I Lost My Body is a painfully...
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