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NéNETTE AND BONI

France, 1996 (MIFF 1997, International)

Director: Claire Denis

Reuniting the teenage leads of US Go Home (MIFF 95|, acclaimed director Claire Denis has created a moving film which explores the relationship between two estranged siblings. Boniface, nicknamed Boni, is a 19 year old who works in a pizzeria and spends much of his time fantasising about the local baker's wife. Nenette, his 15-year old sister, escapes from boarding school and turns up unannounced on Boni's doorstep, with news that disrupts his private world. Neither are overjoyed to see each other, they are both tough and uncompromising, and have a strong instinct for self-protection after losing their mother at an early age. Both share the legacy of a father they hate and whom they haven't seen for years.

The themes of alienation and reconciliation, which reoccur throughout Denis' films are pre­sent here. At the same time there is a sense of intimacy with the characters, aided by the ambi­ent soundtrack, composed by the Tindersticks, which binds the film beautifully. It has had global acclaim, including the Golden Leopard for Best Film at last year's Locarno Festival. Nenette and Boni tests the viewer's expectations and leaves much unsaid in a skilful and highly sympathetic portrayal of an unconventional family reunion.

See also...

Intruder, the

France, 2004
Claire Denis' Golden Lion-nominated [The Intruder] distils the visual and aural economy she achieved in her much acclaimed [Beau Travail] (MIFF 00). Through an evocative, dreamlike visual code and an… More »

35 SHOTS OF RUM

France, 2008
“Smoother than the finest liquor, reminds viewers how rarely movies capture the easygoing love embodied in a functional family, with all its support and tenderness.” - Variety ... Claire Denis (B… More »

WEDDING SONG, THE

France, 2008
“A bold, very carnal take on adolescent female bonding.” - Variety ... In 1942 in Tunisia, two teenage girls struggle to hold their friendship together in the face of cultural differences and eme… More »

In Conversation with Claire Denis


Philippa Hawker, senior film writer for The Age, talks with French director Claire Denis (Beau travail, MIFF 00; Trouble Every Day, MIFF 03) about her approach to filmmaking, and about her new film 3… More »

U.S GO HOME

France, 1994
Director Claire Denis' (Chocolat 1988) contri­bution to the series Tons les Garcons et les Filles de Leur age brings both toughness and ten­derness to the potentially touchy scenario of three… More »

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