This film, which Agnès Varda described as a “wandering-road documentary,” brings to light the long-standing tradition of gleaning in France, where individuals follow a seasonal harvest, gathering the fruit that has been left behind. Legalized in the sixteenth century by King Henry IV, gleaning has been documented in literature and art, perhaps most famously by Impressionist painters in the nineteenth century. The Gleaners and I sketches a sensitive, contemporary portrait of this ancient practice, with Varda journeying across France to follow an eclectic array of gleaners in their shadow harvests. From heart-shaped potatoes to sandy oysters to broken televisions abandoned in the street, Varda’s gleaners find sustenance in discarded or rejected items. Shot for the most part by Varda with her then-new digital video camera, The Gleaners and I engages intimately with the stories of the gleaners of France, and in doing so, tells a broader story about our society and ourselves.
Director: Agnès Varda
Running time: 82 minutes
Format: Digital Cinema Package
Source: Janus Films
Films and schedules may be subject to change.
Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.