This work featured in the 1972 film Daddy written by and starring Niki de Saint-Phalle and directed by Peter Whitehead.
With a leap as exuberant as her colouration, Nana is filled with a great human energy wholly suited to the theme of the celebration of Woman. The recurring heart motif in the sculpture's decoration are reminiscent of a Valentine's card. All in all, Nana is filled with positive associations. In Niki de Saint-Phalle's idealised image of a woman, curves reminiscent of Sumerian statuary provide no hindrance to bounding athleticism.
Although created as a sculpture demonstrating the strengths of the ideal woman, Nana notably featured in the 1972 film Daddy. This project was the result of a collaboration between de Saint-Phalle and the distinguished filmmaker Peter Whitehead, one of the great chroniclers of the 1960s. In this film, de Saint-Phalle explored through fantastical sequences of nightmare and wish-fulfillment her abuse as a child at the hands of her father. Daddy was imbued with a glamourous yet hallucinatory vision, dream-like montages involving the various characters and actors in various acts that would ultimately lead to the father's death at the daughter's hands. For her the film was intended as an act of catharsis, allowing her to attack the memory of her dead father. But within this context, the figure of Nana therefore appears as a jarring contrast, an angel of innocence in comparison to the dark depths of the soul that the film explored.
By her own account, de Saint-Phalle herself was tainted in her own ability to accept her womanhood and her body by her abuse and her convent education. Nana shows her dismissing any shame that she felt, creating an image of woman that is both maternal and sexual. Nana, with her slight corpulence and pronounced curves, presents us with a bold image of womankind striding towards a future free of any shackles of discrimination or self-consciousness.