The Gleaners and I

Agnès Varda's most well-known documentary (her classification "essay" is more apt), inspired by old paintings of the peasant "gleaners" who would sweep the fields, post-harvest, for free food, a practice still legal under French law. A tradition carried on in the present day by Roma as well as fun-seekers, and extended into urban life in the form of scavenging the remains of markets and dumpster diving, Varda's full tour into this world reveals insights with social, environmental, self-reflective, and artistic relevance that are, as is characteristic of her work, ahead of her time.

by Marjorie Skinner
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Agnès Varda