Studiocanal Reveals First Clip of Michel Hazanavicius’ Cannes Competition Animated Film ‘The Most Precious of Cargoes’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Studiocanal has unveiled the first clip of Michel Hazanavicius’s “The Most Precious of Cargoes,” an allegorical hand-drawn animated feature which is competing at the Cannes Film Festival. The first animated film to vie for a Palme d’Or since Ari Folman’s “Waltz With Bashir” in 2008, “The Most Precious of Cargoes” is adapted from Jean-Claude Grumberg’s bestselling novel of the same name.

Set during World War II against the backdrop of the Holocaust,” the film has been developed by Hazanavicius, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind “The Artist,” for many years.Hazanavicius penned the script with Grumberg and created the drawings, with Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat providing the score.

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The drama intertwines the fate of a Jewish family, including newborn twins, deported to Auschwitz, with that of a poor and childless woodcutter couple living deep in a Polish forest. On the train to the death camp, the young father wraps one of his twins in a shawl and throws her off the train into the snow. The lonely woodcutter woman, watching the trains go by in the hope that they’ll leave some resources behind, stumbles across the “cargo’ and discovers the little girl. She decides to take her home.

Hazanavicius, who was born into a family of holocaust survivors from Eastern Europe, said he was at first hesitant to make a movie with this dark historical backdrop, but was ultimately drawn by the “magnificence of this story.”

“It’s not a preachy movie, neither a film about the victims nor about the executioners. It’s about the people who saved lives. We see a beautiful chain of solidarity, of love that sets in motion to save the life of a little girl. You don’t cry because it’s sad, but because it’s beautiful,” said the filmmaker, who admitted he was not an animation buff but has been drawing since he was 10 and drew all the characters for the film.

“The Most Precious of Cargoes” is co-produced and represented internationally by Studiocanal which will release the movie in France on Nov. 20. It’s produced by Patrick Sobelman and Robert Guédiguian at France’s Ex Nihilo, as well as Florence Gastaud and Hazanavicius at Les Compagnons de Cinéma. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are co-producing via their banner Les Films du Fleuve. The voice cast is led by iconic French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, alongside Gregory Gadebois and Dominique Blanc.

Hazanavicius previously attended the Cannes Film Festival with his zombie comedy “Coupez” in 2022, as well as “Le Redoutable” in 2017, and “The Artist” in 2011. “The Artist” went on to win five Oscars.

Here is the exclusive clip:

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