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A four-year-old girl tries to come to terms with the sudden death of her mother.



, (scenario collaborator: for first draft)
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Credited cast:
Delphine Schiltz ...
Matiaz Bureau Caton ...
Léopoldine Serre ...
Marie Trintignant ...
La mère
Le père
Claire Nebout ...
La tante
Aurélie Vérillon ...
Henri Berthon ...
Carla Ibled ...
Luckie Royer ...
Antoine du Merle ...
Marianne Favre ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hadrien Bouvier ...
Benjamin Lemaire ...


An extremely captivating movie on how a little girl copes with her mother's death. She withdraws from all the people around her, waiting for her mother to come back. She tries waiting, and when her mother still doesn't appear, tries magic chants, praying to God, and then becoming a child of God, to have some power over Him. All to no avail. But then, when she is in despair, her mother does come back ... Written by Rahul Dodhia <rdodhia@psych.columbia.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ponette  »

Box Office


$1,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The magic spell the kids say, "Ta'ali Takum", is actually the "Talitha koum" of Jesus. In Mark 5:41, Jesus says the phrase "Talitha koum" (Aramaic for "Little girl, get up") to a dead girl, when he resurrects her. See more »


In the cemetery scene, Ponette is shown piling dirt onto her legs as she kneels beside the grave. In the next shot, her legs have no dirt and her pants are clean. See more »


Ponette: God Almighty, you know my mommy is dead because she is with you. I want to talk to my mommy.
See more »

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User Reviews

An "artistically realised emotional experience"
8 November 1999 | by (France) – See all my reviews

The quote is from Andrew Sarris on 'Au Hasard Balthazar' but it seems entirely appropriate for this gem. (And its worth remembering that Doillon's first great film, 'La Drôlesse' bore more than a passing similarity to 'Mouchette').

'Ponette' comes like a bolt from the blue - a sometimes painful, sometimes funny, almost always moving picture of a four-year-old trying to grapple with the meaning of death. Victoire Thivisol's performance is breath-taking, the curious logic of childhood has rarely been so articulately put on film.

If action movies are your thing, avoid it like the plague, otherwise beat down every door until you find it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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the girl seems abused to me... trinitysx
If you liked this film..... Goldmund1710
Trailer Promo false bulthistle
Is this movie out of print in the U.S.? josieposie
How did she (and mostly he) do it? talking_tree
Excellent!! DakotaPotter
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