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Agnes Varda’s marvelous “wandering road documentary,” voted one of the 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century in a recent BBC poll of international film critics, focuses on the centuries-old tradition of “gleaning” in France – literally, picking up the cast-offs of others.
“Beautiful, absorbing and touching. A mind-expanding experience not to be missed.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Varda follows rural scavengers who gather leftover vegetables after the harvest, and urban scavengers who collect discarded food and appliances from the streets of Paris. Varda interweaves these scenes with her own intimate thoughts on aging, humorous interviews with judges and attorneys who debate – Monty Python-style – the legality of gleaning while standing in potato fields, and a host of other spontaneous musings on French art and culture. Through it all, the director’s patient sense of social obligation shines through, as she asks again and again, “How can one live on the leftovers of others?” (Dir. by Agnès Varda, 2000, France, in French with English subtitles,82 mins., Not Rated)