Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse (The Gleaners and I)

on September 08, 2000 by Kevin Courrier
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   Veteran film-maker Agnes Varda ("Vagabond," "Jacquot de Nantes"), who began her career as a photographer, returns to her roots as a photojournalist in this sublime documentary which explores the centuries-old tradition of gleaning in France. What began as a process where peasants gleaned the leftover produce after the harvest has now become a way of life for many homeless people, artists and chefs.

   Varda creates a richly textured essay that essentially looks at how one class of society lives off of the refuse of another. But besides raising the political and social implications of gleaning, Varda goes even deeper into something personal, by examining the process of aging itself, and raising questions of real value. Such as, when do we become mere scrap on the junk pile of life?

   "Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse (The Gleaners and I)" is an elliptically subtle and beautifully evocative portrait of how one man's trash becomes another man's treasure.    Directed and written by Agnes Varda. Produced by Agnes Varda. No distributor set. Documentary. French-language; subtitled. Not yet rated. Running time: 82 min.

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