After the death of his mother, and with his father long gone, 19-year-old Boni moves into her house in 1990s Marseille and quickly starts going off the rails. He works out of a pizza van and parties hard with his friends, while pilfering bits and pieces here and there and fantasising about the local baker’s wife. One day, his 15-year-old sister, Nénette, suddenly turns up after running away from boarding school with startling news: she is seven months pregnant. A Tindersticks soundtrack and a minor role for Vincent Gallo helped make Nénette et Boni one of the gems of late-20th-century European cinema. Agnès Godard shoots the siblings’ unexpected reunion in a naturalistic yet also allegorical style.
Claire Denis (Paris, 1948) graduated from the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques and worked as assistant director alongside the likes of Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Jacques Rivette and Costa-Gavras. Her over 25 fiction and documentary films explore human frailties and focus on people’s relationships, drawing heavily on her time in Africa. After her debut, Chocolat (1988), she went on to make a series of acclaimed films, including Beau Travail (1999, screened at l’Alternativa 2018) and White Material (2009).
Agnès Godard (Dun-sur-Auron, 1951), who also studied at the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques, met Claire Denis while working with Wim Wenders and has since worked closely with her on numerous films to great acclaim. She later got behind the camera again for Wenders for París, Texas (1984) and Der Himmel über Berlin (1987) and also shot Jacquot de Nantes (Agnès Varda, 1991) and Home (Ursula Meier, 2008, Lumières Award for Best Cinematography). She won the César Award for Best Cinematography for her work on Beau Travail and the Pierre Angénieux Tribute at Cannes in 2021.
- Production company IMA Productions
- Producer IMA Productions
- Distributor Pyramide Films
- Screenplay Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau
- Cinematography Agnès Godard
- Editing Yann Dedet
- Music Tindersticks
- Cast Grégoire Colin, Alice Houri, Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi, Vincent Gallo
- Contact [email protected]
- Locarno Film Festival 1996 (Golden Leopard for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress)