Film Review

The Girl Without Hands

todayMarch 22, 2020 22 1

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For fans of minimalist painterly animation, Grimms Fairy Tales, Marcell Jankovics (Son of the White Mare)
By: Gareth Jones

This hypnotic, oneiric film from 2016 was written, directed, animated and edited by one person, Sébastien Laudenbach.  Based on the story by the Brothers Grimm, it is a fairytale about a young girl accidentally sold to the devil by her poor farmer father.  She evades the devil initially, but loses her hands in the attempt.  Her adventures continue as she encounters love, war, deceit, sex, and self discovery.  It is all beautifully told with simple brush strokes and layering of colors to create an animation style not unlike a sketch come to life.  The ability of the mind to fill in the gaps is greatly enhanced by the astute sound design and voice acting including Elina Löwensohn, the star of Nadja.  Laudenbach has created a unique film with a singular vision that envelops the audience with warmth and boldness.  Premiering at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival (unusual for an animated film, and especially a first film), The Girl Without Hands has proven to have legs as it continues to mesmerize new audiences in the streaming world.

Available on MUBI, Amazon Prime, and others

Written by: Gareth Jones

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