CLIP: 00:50:33 – 00:56:28
In a Parisian laboratory, a severed hand escapes and sets out to reconnect with its body. During a hair-raising escapade across the city, the hand fends off pigeons and rats to reunite with pizza delivery boy Naoufel. Its memories of Naoufel and his love for librarian Gabrielle may provide answers about what caused the hand’s separation, and a poetic backdrop for a possible reunion between the three. The film is based on Guillaume Laurant’s novel Happy Hand.
A severed hand trying to find its way back to its owner doesn’t exactly scream ‘family-friendly’ and it is worth noting that this short film deals with some mature issues. Covering a whole host of existential topics, this is a deep and mature story about destiny and the constant struggle to achieve our dreams and find our place in the world. Despite the trauma and tragedy of Naoufel’s life, we are left with the view that sometimes we can flourish if we take a leap into the void, to realise that dreams are within reach, as long as we fight for them.
The clip that this session focuses on comes just after the midway point of the film. Naoufel has fallen in love with Gabrielle, a woman he delivered a pizza to and had a conversation with over the intercom. Naoufel has been using the knowledge from that conversation to build a friendship with her at the library. Naoufel describes his idea of fate to Gabrielle and suggests that sometimes we need to deviate and try something unexpected. Later they are up on the roof again, inside an igloo that Naoufel has built to impress Gabrielle. He reveals that they actually met for the first time when he was a pizza delivery man. Hurt, Gabrielle leaves the rooftop.
This film is in French with English subtitles as standard. On the settings you can change the audio to English to hear the English cast starring Dev Patel and Alia Shawkat.
After showing the clip, break into small discussion groups and discuss the following questions:
- How do you think Naoufel feels about life?
- Do we need to have a purpose in life in order to be happy?
- Is the idea of fate compatible with a Christian outlook on life?
- Do you think that Naoufel was wrong to not tell Gabrielle about their earlier meeting and how he has been manipulating their relationship to impress her?
Then read Ecclesiastes 3:18-22 together; you may need to give some context of Ecclesiastes beforehand. Return to your smaller groups and discuss the following questions:
- Is this passage in conflict with the traditional messages found in Christianity?
- How does this passage describe our fate? Is this a positive message?
- This passage declares “everything is meaningless” – do you agree?
- What do you think the overall message of this passage is? Do you think Naoufel would like it?
I Lost My Body is now available to stream on Netflix.
Supporting documentsClick link to download and view these files
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