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Following a girl’s journey to her mother’s childhood home, French auteur Céline Sciamma’s latest is a tender tale of intergenerational connection.
8-year-old Nelly has just lost her beloved grandmother and is helping her parents clean out her mother’s childhood home. She explores the house and the surrounding woods where her mom, Marion, used to play and built the treehouse she’s heard so much about. One day her mother abruptly leaves. That’s when Nelly meets a girl her own age in the woods building a treehouse. Her name is Marion.
Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) returns with a delicate tale of childhood and an intergenerational connection that crosses through time.
Following Portrait of a Lady on Fire’s 2019 Cannes Best Screenplay and MIFF Audience Award wins, Petite Maman reasserts Sciamma’s signature light touch with stories of youth and ability to elicit naturalistic performances from a non-adult cast, as seen previously in Tomboy and Girlhood. Using its beguiling premise to explore the complexity of mother-daughter relationships, this highlight of the 2021 Berlinale competition is a sensitive portrayal of the yearnings and anxieties of pre-adolescence with a touch of magic realism.
“A film that beckons like a forest path … Petite Maman is a tiny suspended moment within time, magnified at high resolution until the microscopic becomes momentous.” – Sight & Sound