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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...

NENETTE ET BONI

While virtually all of Denis' films have tacitly addressed the issue of family. this - her fifth narrative feature - confronts the subject explicitly. Boniface (Gregoire Colin) is a 19-year-old pizza ... More »

U.S GO HOME

Asked to contribute to the French TV mini-series Tous les Garcons et les Filles de Leur Age (All the Boys and Girls in Their Time)—which assigned ten European directors the task of creating ... More »

BASTARDS

"Denis is at the height of her powers ... unfaltering control, superb manipulation of mood and masterful use of music." - Hollywood Reporter ... When wealthy patriarch Jacques commits suicide in ... More »

I CAN’T SLEEP

Though ostensibly based on a true story-of the 'Granny Killer' Thierry Paufin, who terrorised the outer arrondisements of Paris in the late 1980s, murdering a string of elderly women—Denis here ... More »

CHOCOLAT

Returning to Cameroon, the West African nation where she spent her childhood, a young Frenchwoman (Mireille Perrier) contemplates her youth, spent within the enclave of a colonial outpost, and the ... More »

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