Agnès Varda’s fascination with California culture has resulted in a number of uniquely beautiful films shot in the Golden State, films that subtly capture the director’s ambivalent, complicated and ultimately loving feelings about America.
“Documenteur is disarmingly modest and closely observed … a fascinating mood piece.” – J. Hoberman, New York Times
The 1981 feature Documenteur is a moving work of autobiographical fiction about a young French woman (Sabine Mamou) in Los Angeles as she copes with a recent breakup and wanders the city in search of a home for her and her son (played by Varda’s real-life son, Mathieu Demy). Aptly subtitled “An Emotion Picture,” this mysterious, serenely melancholic film is a meditative portrait of urban isolation overflowing with visual poetry. (Dir. by Agnès Varda, 1981, USA/France, in French/English with English subtitles, 65 mins., Not Rated)
Documenteur will be preceded by two of Agnès Varda’s short films also made in California: Black Panthers (1968, 28 mins.), in which Varda turns her camera on an Oakland demonstration against the imprisonment of activist and Black Panthers co-founder Huey P. Newton; and Uncle Yanco (1967, 19 mins.), Varda’s first American film – a groovy, sun-kissed portrait of ‘60s California, detailing her journey to meet a long-lost bohemian relative living in Sausalito.
(Total program running time: 112 mins.)