Jacques Doillon, France, 1996


Ponette’s mother died in a car crash. Ponette uses her dolly to continue to talk with her mother, as if she were still alive. Between herself and the dolly she creates a private space where she can talk about the accident, her mother, and externalise her emotions. Playing with the dolly she assumes the roles of both her mother and herself. She talks to the dolly like her mother would sometimes speak to her, to tell her off for not having tidied her room, for example. The dolly allows her to get rid of her anger following the brutal death of her mother. She throws the dolly down on the ground and then picks it up and consoles it as she too, doubtless, wants to be consoled, herself. This imaginative doubling allows Ponette to react to and speak of the shock of her mother’s death and to allow her to rebuild the image she holds of a woman ‘broken into little bits’ by the car accident.