‘help yourself, but please leave bowl. enjoy!’
another friendly neighbor’s offering
left on the steps to their house
discovered while out walking.
‘the people who give you their food, give you their heart.’
walking up to the register
i saw the cashier
a bit of an awkward, gawky type
with kind eyes and a worried face
who didn’t appear to have a lot of self-confidence
having just finished with a customer
he was ready to deal with my order.
his head was down
i said hello
he looked at me and said
“that last customer told me to smile.
he has no idea how hard it is for me
how hard it is to be here right now
no idea what im dealing with
what i’m going through
how it’s a miracle i’m even here
it would be really hard for anyone
i have to be here until midnight
this is just the beginning of my shift.”
as he quietly told me this
tears began to slowly roll down his face
he grabbed a box of tissues to wipe them away
all the while continuing to check me out.
we bagged my things together
as he went on –
“they told me to hold in my emotions
but i think its okay to show them
what’s wrong with that, i think it’s a good thing?”
when he finished with my order
his manager came over
with a compassionate and not angry face
without a word
took over his register
i thanked him for helping me
agreed that it’s certainly okay to feel and express things
told him that i hope things will get better
he walked off in silence and punched out
i hope that he takes a long break
goes home for the day
whatever he needs
has someone waiting for him who will support him
i don’t think he wanted an answer from me
just wanted me to listen
to acknowledge his humanity
his struggles, his emotions
tell him that it was okay for him to feel and express them
i hope he is back when i stop in for my weekly grocery shop.
i hope that things are better.
“tears come from the heart and not from the brain.”
-leonardo da vinci
there is so much strength and emotion
packed into this 70 minute little film
i am left not knowing exactly what to say.
directed by claude bars
a joint swiss/french
stop-motion animation creation
later re-voiced in english
with unforgettable characters
yet larger than life
their huge eyes
mirror their huge troubles, emotions, lives
their fight for survival
and their desperate search to find a way
to open their wounded hearts once again.
it is a testament to the resilience of the human heart
and the power of love and friendship in the face of adversity.
(French: Ma vie de Courgette; also titled My Life as a Zucchini), was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. This is the second adaptation of Gilles Paris’ 2002 novel Autobiographie d’une Courgette, as there was a French live-action television film adaptation called C’est mieux la vie quand on est grand which aired in 2007. The film was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 89th Academy Awards but lost to Zootopia. It was also selected as the Swiss entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, making the December shortlist.
“the empty swing set reminds us of this–
that bad won’t be bad forever,
and what is good can sometimes last a long, long time. ”
note: while this film is animated, it may be too emotional and scary for young children to experience, due to some of the characters and issues addressed within.
credits: universal studios, wikipedia, cannes film festival