Not as black as it is painted – “My Life in Versailles”

The huge garden of Versailles together with the breathtaking palace – undoubtedly many of us would love to be there. Nonetheless, little Violett who experienced a horrific tragedy is far from being happy to move there.

The protagonist of the animation is revealed to us at the very beginning. A fragile, ginger-haired, eight-year-old girl stands between coffins in which her dead parents are laid. Not realizing what exactly happens, Violett focuses on herself and her mind instead of the very funeral ceremony. She doesn’t feel sad until the point she is forced to move from her current house to the place where her uncle Regis resides. When moving out, Violett comes to an understanding that her mum and dad are gone and they will never get back, moreover, she will have to slumber with the person she doesn’t have any ties except for a mutual blood ties. The relationship between the girl and her relative is tough – they can’t  get on well with each other. Whereby Violett skips classes at school and she hates her guardian more and more each day.

The gathering around fire is the turning point of the story. The characters calm down and tell their personal stories. Fire plays a significant role here as the symbol of an agreement and catharsis – its flames display the secrets of Regis and show Violett’ last happy memory of her relatives.

The cartoon is made up of simple though visually attractive drawings. The colours are serene with a little bit of hum and they draw our attention to the characters, who are more vivid than the background. The quiet classical music composed by  De la Simone doesn’t let us forget that the action takes place mainly at a 17-th century baroque location, The Palace of Versailles.

Nathaniel H’limi together with  Clémence Madeleine-Perdrillat created an unconstrained animation which clearly exposes how lack of communication influences relationships and how much can be lost if one doesn’t try to sympathize with others. Moreover, the screenwriters point to the fact that emotions often affect our life decisions.

The animation is definitely worth-watching. It helps us remember the values that we all know but not always use in our daily life. Violett and Regis are the ones who will strive to tell us about love, communication, and patience in a simple, visually attractive and brave style.

Agnieszka Nowicka

Translation: Magdalena Nikiel

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