THE GLEANERS AND I Agnes Varda 82min/France/2000
Inspired by a 19th century painting of people gleaning the potatoes remaining after a harvest, Varda meets the modern-day gleaners who treasure and survive on abandoned items.
Since 1554 a French law has stated that gleaning is a civil right.
From digging through the leftovers in a field, to picking up the discarded items at the end of a market day, the people Varda meets vary in their needs, backgrounds and philosophies.
Varda reflects on her own role as a gleaner – a gleaner of images and ideas – and in her move from analogue film, to digital she plays with her new medium. She doesn’t reject the accidents, and instead celebrates them in a brilliant, esoteric approach unique to her ever-imaginative and responsive filmmaking.
This screening is part of the season THE WORKED EARTH curated in dialogue with SIDE Gallery’s exhibitions Otherwise Unseen by Tessa Bunney and Waiting for Winter by Rena Effendi both of which explore human relationships with the land. We have drawn films from the Ukraine, Loas, Turkey, France, Italy and England that each expand the conversation around this work. The extraordinary films ask questions about time, humans relationship with the environment and our role within fragile ecosystems. We will also be exploring the tensions between rural and urban environments and the relationships that are grown both in harmony with the land and in opposition.
Each screening will be followed by a facilitated conversation with members of the Amber Collective, invited guests and the audience.