In September I Moved To France

"A young woman tries to speak French after moving to France."

In September I Moved to France is a short film created by Israeli artist Daniella Schnitzer about the difficulties a young woman faces when trying to speak French after moving to France. It was made during her studies at La Poudrière and the short describes with a comedic tone the experiences she personally went through.

Five characters, internal conflict, non-realistic staging and a focus on language and adapting to a new country are the main elements of the short.

Staged in a seemingly urban location (due to the way people dress and talk) and inside a suitcase, the short features a highly subjective narrative point of view.

The aesthetic mixes traditional hand-drawn animation with cutout stop motion, using a black and white palette for the human characters combined with saturated colors for the words spoken in different languages. These colors are sometimes used together when the woman protagonist speaks, showing she still speaks French with an accent.

Visual rhythm is high, handled through editing, motion within the frame and a few pans. Four-shots abound, to portray the interaction between the main woman character and the French locals she meets. Tighter shots and close-ups are used to transmit characters’ expressions as well as the words they utter. The visual display of the words is also interestingly used to describe the way the characters relate.

The fact that characters and conversations are so expressive is a trademark of French culture. This could have taken place in other countries with a Latin influence (even a number of Latin-American countries). But such expressiveness and emphasis in communication is unusual in quite a number of countries around the world.

What makes In September I Moved To France work so well? Playful non-realistic staging, original script, interesting focus and use of language, creative aesthetic work and a subject that many people can relate to.


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