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Gleaners & I, The

Director:  Agnés Varda
Year Released:  2000
Rating:  3.0

Thoughtful essay by Varda about gleaners - the people who picked up fruits and vegetables in the fields that were left over from the harvest - and applies the metaphor to modern society's outcasts: those that 'glean' trash, vegetables, refrigerators. Works best when she's interacting with farmers, vagabonds and various eccentrics (including a peculiar man who wears rubber boots as a statement) but fails when she (unsuccessfully) tries to apply the subject of gleaning to herself, or when she tries to get too cute with her digital camera (her 'closing her hand' on the passing trucks reminds me of the humorous "I'm crushing your head" bit Kids in the Hall used to do). Worth seeing, too, is the follow-up documentary, "Two Years Later," (featured on the DVD release) where she revisits some of the people from the first picture, and how, in those two years, they have either changed, remained the same, or gotten worse (the man with the rubber boots, tragically enough, had been put in a mental institution).

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