The Girl Without Hands | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Girl Without Hands

An animated adaptation of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale has lots of visual flair


This new hand-painted animation from Sébastien Laudenbach adapts a Brothers Grimm fairy tale with lots of visual flair. The tale itself is a classic cautionary one. A miller sells his daughter to the devil in exchange for gold. The devil requests that the young woman come to him dirty and smelly, but her tears cleanse her hands. Thus, the devil orders the father to cut off the hands; he does, and the understandably distressed girl runs away. What follows is her journey to survive, forgive and perhaps find happiness in a world marked by war, greed and violence. The deceptively simple illustrations are evocative and painterly. The 80-minute film is OK for older kids who don’t mind the “grimmer” sorts of Grimm tales, and share the European sensibility for depictions of ordinary nudity, such as bathing and breast-feeding.

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