Gleaning Truths: Agnès Varda
The Gleaners & I U (S)
Describing herself as a gleaner of ideas and images from interior as well as exterior journeys gave Agnès Varda a special connection with the subjects of this honest and intriguing documentary which looks into the world of the foragers and scavengers of France (know collectively as The Gleaners).
In 2000 Varda travelled the French countryside to study their world. Since 1554 gleaning has been a practice that is protected by the French constitution, and today the men and women who sift through the dumpsters and markets of Paris are the descendants of gleaners who were painted by Millet and Van Gogh.
In Agnes Varda's meditative film we see them in potato fields and apple orchards, we meet urban gleaners, including an artist who finds objects he can make into sculpture, and a man who has not paid for his food for more than 10 years. Varda described the resulting film as "a wandering-road documentary" - and the result is both beautiful and absorbing.