The Gleaners and I

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Released 2002

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The Gleaners and I

Movie Summary

Director:
Agnes Varda
Released:
2002
Rating:
Not Available
Agnès 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-François 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."

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The story of herself (Varda), a woman whose life has consisted of moving through the world with the tools of her trade, finding what is worth treasuring.

  • 90

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    She (Varda) plucks images and stories from the world around her, finding beauty and nourishment in lives and activities the world prefers to ignore.

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    Captivating new documentary, The Gleaners and I, is charged with the pleasure of discovery.

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Categories

Documentary

Themes

Profile, Culture, Heritage, Philosophy, Foreign Language