Petit Maman

Fri 28th October – 19:30 Terry O’Toole Theatre
France 2021
Dir: Céline Sciamma
Cert U
72 mins
Starring: Joséphine Sanz, Gabrielle Sanz, Nina Meurisse, Stéphane Varupenne

Nelly, a serious, self-possessed 8 year-old spends time with her parents at the house of her grandmother who has recently died. While the adults do what is needed in the house Nelly is out exploring the nearby woods, where she unexpectedly meets a girl her own age engaged in building a tree house. The lonely Nelly is delighted to have someone to play with and the two become friends. It is gradually apparent, however, that Nelly’s new friend is actually her mother as a child. Time warp? Fairy tale? Psychological mystery? “Petite Maman” is in no hurry to offer explanations. What it does offer us is a frank and touching take on family dynamics; the building of trust and need for honest communication between parent and child, particularly at a time of grief. A haunting, spellbinding film, directed and performed with great sensitivity.

View the notes here.