THE GLEANERS & I
LES GLANEURS ET LA GLANEUSE
2001, Zeitgeist, 82 min, France, Dir: Agnes Varda

French New Wave pioneer Agnes Varda’s marvelous "wandering road documentary" focuses on the centuries-old tradition of "gleaning" in France - literally, picking up the cast-offs of others. 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?" Winner, Best Non-Fiction Film - National Society Of Film Critics.


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