Combining a humanistic approach to its subjects with an almost child-like curiosity, the documentaries of Agnès Varda are special. With a starting point on Jean François Millet’s 1857 painting The Gleaners, depicting poor peasants picking whatever food was left after the crops were harvested, Varda arrives at today’s phenomena of food, material and life waste. By no means a scientific effort, Les glaneurs et la glaneuse is a playful and heartfelt road-trip much in the tradition of her more renowned Visage-Villages.
At one point in the film, Varda, just having discovered the joy of small handheld video cameras, films her hands’ wrinkled skin, calmly stating that probably “the end is near”. Twenty years after she’s still going strong. Bisous!