Ponette (1996)

 |  Drama  |  14 March 1997 (USA)
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Reviews: 43 user | 37 critic

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 ... See full summary »



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15-year-old Gena lives alone with her mother. She has never seen her father, even though her mother makes her write a birthday card to him every year. One day, after fighting with her mother, Gena runs away to find her father.

Director: Emmanuel Saget
Stars: Victoire Thivisol, Laurent Suire, Irène Grandadam


Credited cast:
Victoire Thivisol ...
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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Release Date:

14 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ponette  »

Box Office


ESP 8,978,769 (Spain)

Company Credits

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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 »


Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

A child's pain, up close and personal!
13 March 2001 | by (San Diego, California, USA) – See all my reviews

Nobody watching this film can failed to be touched, moved, transported and transformed by it. Others here have already expressed the enormous power of the movie, and particularly of its star, Victoire Thivisol. If you're reading this to see if you should watch it, I'd say, drop everything and go buy it so you can watch it over and over. But buy a case of Kleenex (TM) too, you're going to need them!

As I watched the movie, I had the impression that director Jacques Doillon had simply found a real-life tragedy and somehow followed the participants through it with his camera. Nothing in this film gives you the impression of having been written, scripted, staged, produced. It is all so completely natural that you experience first hand the pain, the emotional agony of Ponette, as if she were your own daughter, your own sister, even your own self.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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the girl seems abused to me... trinitysx
If you liked this film..... Goldmund1710
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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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