Perhaps Varda’s most overtly political film, One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (1977) centers around two young women, Pauline and Suzanne, navigating their separate yet intertwining lives against the backdrop of the Women’s Movement in France during the 1970s. Known for its feminist themes, the film subverts expectations by combining the melodramatic and musical genres in unlikely juxtaposition, including one unsettling musical number where a group of women visiting Amsterdam for the purpose of having abortions all decide to take a canal cruise together while awaiting, or recovering, from their procedures. One Sings, the Other Doesn’t draws deeply from Varda’s personal experiences: in 1971 she signed the “Manifesto of the 343,” a list of prominent women who admitted to having had abortions. The cast includes both of her children, and the film follows her husband Jacques Demy’s beloved 1967 musical The Young Girls of Rochefort. Varda maintains her characteristic ambivalence, advocating for reproductive rights while also glorifying motherhood, as well as her ability to infuse even the most serious subject matter with humor and joie de vivre.
Director: Agnès Varda
Running time: 121 minutes
Format: Digital Cinema Package
Source: Janus Films
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