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Sans Toit Ni Loi (1985)

Original Title : Sans toit ni loi
Director : Agnès Varda
Writer : Agnès Varda
Genre : Drama
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Oury Milshtein
Music : Joanna Bruzdowicz
Fred Chichin
Photography : Patrick Blossier
IMDB ID : 0089960
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poster for "Sans Toit Ni Loi" by Agnès Varda (1985)
Sans Toit Ni Loi (1985) - Agnès Varda
 

Starring

Sandrine Bonnaire Mona Bergeron, sans toit ni loi
Setti Ramdane le marocaine qui la trouve
Francis Balchère un gendarme
Jean-Louis Perletti un autre
Urbain Causse un paysan interrogé
Christophe Alcazar un autre, brûleyrr de fossé
Dominique Durand le premier motard
Dominique Durand le premier motard
 

Plot

In winter in the south of France, a young woman is found frozen in a ditch. She's ill kempt, a vagabond. Through flashbacks and brief interviews, we trace her final weeks, as she camps alone or falls in with various men and women, many of whom project their needs onto her or try to give her life direction. She squats in an old house smoking hash with a man, falls for a Tunisian laborer and works beside him pruning grape vines, stays with a couple shepherding goats, meets an agronomist trying to save plane trees, gets tipsy with an old woman, and has an offer to appear in porn films.
 

Comments

Looks simple, grows complex and nuanced I don't know what it was about the first few episodes that turned me off, but something did.-- Perhaps the (mistaken) impression that the film and its author were entirely embracing and espousing Mona's philosophy.But I was won over by the middle, and quite positive about it after re-viewing the beginning sections. I somewhat disagree with a previous comment about the documentary-style scenes.They might have turned out badly, indeed, if done mechanically, for instance always showing the "interview" scene with someone just after showing the narrative scenes involving that person with Mona, and making them all just about the same length.Instead, the connections and handling of the "interview" scenes are varied, and become interesting, even rather intriguing as when we start getting the story of Yolanda (maid to the half-blind old woman Aunt Lydie), told directly to the camera, *long* before meeting her in the narrative with Mona. Also intriguing are the almost-last-minute revelations of pre-existing connections among many of those who have encountered Mona -- e.g., when the agronomist (former student of the electrocuted professor) turns out to be Aunt Lydie's nephew that Yolanda has been discussing. Incidental note: there is at least one additional comment on this 1985 Varda film misfiled in the IMDB comments for a different, 1992 film also known as "Vagabond", at http://us.imdb.com/Title?0105718 . Question for other viewers [perhaps a slight spoiler]: Can you please explain what's going on in that town, when Mona (and apparently others) are attacked by the mud-covered men wearing trees??? Are those grapevines?Are these guys agricultural workers, like Assoun?Is it a spontaneous riot, or some sort of semi-recognized local ritual?