|The Gleaners and I|
AgnÃ¨s Varda, Grande Dame of the French New Wave, has made 2001's most acclaimed non-fiction film-a self-described "wandering-road documentary." Beginning with the famous Jean-FranÃ§ois Millet painting of women gathering wheat left over from a harvest, she focuses her ever-seeking eye on gleaners: those who scour already-reaped fields for the odd potato or turnip. Her investigation leads us from forgotten corners of the French countryside to off-hours at the green markets of Paris, following those who insist on finding a use for that which society has cast off, whether out of necessity or activism. Varda's own ruminations on her life as a filmmaker (a gleaner of sorts) give her a connection to her subjects that creates a touching human portrait that the L.A. Weekly deemed "a protest film that's part social critique, part travelogue, but always an unsentimental celebration of human resilience." This Edition features the 60-minute follow-up film GLEANERS: TWO YEARS LATER.
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