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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 »

35 SHOTS OF RUM

“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 ... More »

MAN NO RUN

For her second feature film, Denis departed from the meditative tone of her debut, and plunged instead into the noise and energy of a band on the road. Acclaimed Cameroonian act Les Têtes Brulées ... More »

BEAU TRAVAIL

Arguably Denis' greatest film to date, Beau Travail is by any standard a magisterial piece of work: meditative, richly sensual—an ode to the beauty of male bodies and to the inscrutability of ... More »

Intruder, the

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 »

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 »

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