by Rémi Chayé
2020 | 82 min
Animation, family | France | French (no English subtitles) | 8 years of age and older
1863, United States of America. Twelve-year-old Martha Jane and her family are headed West in a large wagon in search of a better life. After Martha Jane’s father is hurt in a serious accident, she takes charge of her siblings and learns to drive the family wagon. She has never felt so free. Utterly practical and bold, Martha Jane dresses as a boy and becomes increasingly troublesome for the community due to her outspoken braveness. When the leader of the convoy wrongly accuses her of theft, she runs away to find proof of her innocence...
In the Wild, she discovers herself and a world which shapes her and confirms her unique personality... revealing the mythical and slightly mysterious Calamity Jane.
Jury prize, Cocomix music prize, Bucheon International Animation Festival (South Korea, 2020)
Best film, Annecy International Animation Film Festival (France, 2020)
French Film Festival in Japan (2020)
Tapis Rouge French Film Festival in the Netherlands (2020)
European Film Awards (Germany, 2020)
French Cinepanorama (Hong Kong, 2020)
IFI French Film Festival (Dublin, Ireland, 2020)
Seville European Film Festival (Spain, 2020)
Singapore French Film Festival (2020)
Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival (Taiwan, 2020)
Alice nella Citta (Italy, 2020)
Cinekid (The Netherlands, 2020)
Namur International Francophone Film Festival (Belgium, 2020)
Helvetia French Film Festival (Switzerland, 2020)
Five excellent reasons to watch Calamity:
1. For its wonderful and courageous Far West heroine.
2. To learn about Calamity Jane's childhood.
3. For the majesty of Oregon’s endless landscapes.
4. To jiggle to the sound of the bluegrass quartet.
5. To be inspired by her thirst for freedom.
— Benshi (translated from French)
The characters, heroes of an exciting adventure with many twists and turns, are most endearing,. Children and parents will greatly enjoy it: a great success.
— (Culturebox - France Télévisions (translated from French)
This family-friendly French-language film about her antics as a 12-year-old in a pioneer wagon train is a vibrant and dynamic delight. (…)
After winning the top prize at Annecy this year, Calamity should find fans internationally for its resplendent hand-drawn imagery, action-packed story and can-do attitude.
— Screen Daily
— Femme Actuelle (translated from French)
An eventful road movie (with good guys and bad guys, conflicts over who should control the convoy, a resourceful and Huckleberry Finn-like orphan, soldiers, miners, a widow with a strong character, etc., all the elements of a self-respecting western) taking place against striking vistas, Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary favours the simplicity of the line in an explosion of colours. A very judicious visual strategy which also highlights the bluegrass music composed by Florencia Di Concilio. But most of all, in the same way he already successfully did it in his feature debut Long Way North, Rémi Chayé find the perfect balance to please all generations of viewers as they follow the adventures of a new female hero, the valiant and endearing flag-bearer of the legitimate conquests of the female condition.
A beautiful, hand-drawn animation feature about Martha Jane Cannary, a young girl who grew into the legendary ‘Calamity’ Jane. Martha Jane is a strong-willed heroine with a mind of her own in the days of the Wild West. Calamity opened the 2020 Cinekid film festival.