Do you believe in fate?
It’s one of the many questions about free will and determinism “I Lost My Body” poses over the course of the film as it engages with themes of love, loss, and the unexpected twists and challenges of life.
“I Lost My Body” is a French animated film released in November 2019 on Netflix following its premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. However, if you’re not a huge fan of subtitles, the film is also available in English.
The film primarily follows a severed hand, which escapes a laboratory and embarks on a perilous quest to return its, a young man named Naoufel.
Directed by Jérémy Clapin, “I Lost My Body” is told through the two parallel perspectives; Naoufel’s hand and its journey back to its body, and flashbacks to Naoufel’s life leading up to the accident.
Naoufel’s tragedy doesn’t begin there, but rather in childhood when a tragic accident changes the course of his life forever. Rather than pursue his dreams and aspirations, Naoufel is forced to move to Paris and live with his uncaring uncle and cousin.
It’s here where the film begins to pose the question of fate and how the course of our lives change, often without warning. The film takes a close look at the human condition, and how much control we have over our own destinies.
It’s less about a young man who’s lost his hand, and more about the hand that has become detached and separated from the rest of itself. It’s a story about the disconnect we feel from ourselves and our ideas of who we are and who we want to become, and how fate often diverges from those goals.
Aside from its overall commentary on fate, “I Lost My Body” has a spellbinding score and visually stunning animation that seizes your attention and draws you further into the story being told, completely rapt and waiting for its conclusion.
Animated films, especially ones geared toward adults, get unfairly dismissed and aren’t seen as legitimate, mature, and substantial films, and it’s something “I Lost My Body” directly counteracts.
The film’s medium is actually one of the things I truly loved about “I Lost My Body”; it proves you can make animated films geared toward adults that engage with many of the same elements of loss, tragedy, and grappling with fate or destiny in much of the same way as films in its medium geared toward the youth and its counterparts in live action.
“I Lost My Body” is among the most original and captivating animated films I’ve ever seen and portrays a touching story of emotional and physical loss that tugs at the heartstrings.
As Clapin’s first feature film, “I Lost My Body” shows the director’s promise and potential to expertly craft relatable and heartfelt stories that cross language barriers and remain insightful into what it means to be human.
It’s one of those rare cinematic experiences that ends in an unconventional, but fitting way for the story that gives the story that profundity that makes it memorable and worth a second watch.Kayla Houp may be reached via email at [email protected].