A poor miller (Broche) is tricked by the Devil (Laudenbach) into selling him his daughter (Demoustier), but instead of taking her, the Devil commands the father to cut off the girl’s hands. After this brutal act, she wanders into the wilderness where a Water Goddess (Lowensohn) saves her life and directs her to the castle of a prince (Elkaim). They fall in love and she conceives a child, but the Devil is not ready to let her go so easily.
Laudenbach’s feature debut finds the animator working in broad, fluid strokes to tell his version of this classic Grimm fairy tale. The story’s dark quality is augmented by the constantly shifting images and strangely ominous line drawings. Bursting with color, and full of life’s big themes (sex, childbirth), this is not aimed at young children. But older children and adults will marvel at the simple beauty of the animation and the measured pacing of the film. It’s a welcome relief from all the loud, turbocharged digital animation on offer these days. Get this “Girl”!