Nénette et Boni

FRANCE – 1996 – DCP – color – 103’

Direction: Claire Denis
Screenplay: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau
Cinematography: Agnès Godard
Editing: Yann Dedet
Set design: Arnaud de Moléron
Music: Tindersticks, Stuart Staples, Al McCauley, Dickon Hinchliffe, Mark Colwill, Dave Boulter
Costumes: Elisabeth Tavernier
Cast: Grégoire Colin (Boni), Alice Houri (Nénette), Jacques Nolot( Mr Luminaire), Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (baker), Vincent Gallo (Vincenzo Brown, the baker), Malek Brahimi (boxing instructor), Gérard Meylan (the uncle), Sébastien Pons (Boni’sfriend), Mounir Aïssa (Boni’s friend), Christophe Carmona (Boni’s friend), Djellali El’Ouzeri (Boni’s friend), Alex Descas (gynecologist), Jamila Farah (wise woman), Pépette (social worker), Agnès Regolo (radiologist)
Producer: Georges Benayoun
Production: Canal+,CNC,Dacia Films,IMA Productions,La Sept Cinéma


Boniface, known as Boni, is nineteen and works as a pizza maker at the Marseille port. When his mother dies, he refuses contact withhis father, Félix, a chandelier retailer. He lives in an apartment with some workmates and is in love with the baker of the next-doorshop, who happens to be married to the owner. One day his sister Antoinette, known as Nénette, suddenly shows up: she is fifteenand on the run from a boarding school. She says she is pregnant and moves to her brother’s. Félix attempts to reconnect with hisson, but, in the meantime, his business is in trouble. The loan sharks are chasing him…


“Nénette e Boniis about a persistent void. It tells of Boni’s loneliness and dreams. It portrays Nénette’s isolation, her usualpassiveness and her relationship with her brother (without forgetting the baby she carries in her womb). The film’s narrative ispresented by featuring sharp tones, emptied of any emotional short circuit (through fragmentation), and by working on focusadjustments (through the shot).” (Rinaldo Censi,Cineforumn. 365, June 1997)

1996 Locarno IFF – Competition: Golden Leopard, Ecumenical Jury’s Special Mention, Special Award toGrégoire Colin, Alice Houri, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
1996 Namur IF of French-Speaking Film: Best Artistic Contribution for Direction