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Ponette (1996)

 |  Drama  |  14 March 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 3,360 users  
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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Title: Ponette (1996)

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13 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ponette  »

Box Office


ESP 8,978,769 (Spain)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

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 »


La Fille de l'Internet: You shouldn't be so sad.
Ponette: Yes, I should.
La Fille de l'Internet: Your mother was sad, too. She cried on her way to Heaven. God cried as He waited for her. When God was on earth as Jesus, He cried, too. But usually He was as joyful as a child.
Ponette: It isn't joyful to be a child.
See more »


Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Poignant and powerful depiction of a child's attempt to cope with grief.
19 October 1998 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

Even on home video, PONETTE retains its remarkable power. It remains one of the most haunting and affecting studies of childhood on film. Victoire Thivisol's performance in the title role continues to be moving and totally disarming. It's a rare talent that can carry an emotionally demanding role in a film in which the lead appears in nearly every scene. The fact that it is a four year old child is simply staggering.

If there is any ground for complaint about the DVD release, it's the fact that the film appears in "Standard Format" instead of a full ratio Widescreen edition. In any event, PONETTE is a welcome addition to my DVD collection. In fact, it is a title that I wouldn't want to be without.

7 of 7 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
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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