Agnès Varda, the grande dame of the French New Wave, revives the spirit of The Gleaners and I (MIFF 2001) with this picaresque romp through rural France, and is joined in her travels by the artist JR.
Both members of this unlikely coupling are artists of the image, but whereas the ruminative, masterly Varda has spent more than half a century making fiction and documentary films, her hip young companion JR specialises in crafting large-scale photographic portraits. Together, they drive through remote parts of the French countryside, touring farms and villages in a specially equipped van-cum-photography lab.
Taking photos of the people they meet, in all their humility and grandeur, and plastering the huge black-and-white print-outs in prominent local spots, the duo trace out an expansive sketch of the nation as a whole, in a documentary that teems with warmth, compassion and humanity.
'Agnès Varda's latest thrift-shop documentary, about creating oversize images out of ordinary people, confirms that she's the world's most ageless filmmaker.' – Variety