The Rabbi's Cat
Directed by Joann Sfar & Antoine Delesvaux • Animation • With Mathieu Amalric, Hafsia Herzi, François Damiens, Eric Elmosnino • 2011 • 80 minutes
Set in Algeria in the 1930s, THE RABBI'S CAT adapts Joann Sfar's best-selling graphic tale of a sharp-tongued feline philosopher. When a cat belonging to a widowed rabbi and his beautiful daughter eats the family parrot, he miraculously gains the ability to speak, and to articulate a sardonic wit. The cat – and filmmaker Sfar – spare no group or individual as they skewer faith, tradition and authority in a provocative exploration of (among other things) God, lust, death, phrenology, religious intolerance, interspecies love, and the search for truth. A richly textured depiction of Mediterranean Africa, THE RABBI'S CAT embarks on a cross continent adventure from the tiled terraces, fountains, quays and cafes of colonial Algiers to Maghrebi tent camps, dusty trading outposts, and deep blue Saharan nights in search of a lost Ethiopian city.
—César Awards 2012 Winner, Best Animated Film