Run time: 101 mins
Agnes Varda’s stark and provocative tale of a free soul and a lost individual.
Presented as a loose flashback, Vagabond chronicles the fateful journey of young woman as she twists her way through the French countryside; the people she meets, the places she rests, the rejections she suffers, the impulses that make her move on.
Mona (Sandrine Bonnaire) has dropped out of society for reasons left unstated. Every hint why is greeted with a contradiction. She openly states that she lies to the people she passes by, to entertain herself. She isn’t just drifting through the world; she’s challenging it.
Bonnaire is remarkable, considering her task is to provide a window into a standoffish character, embracing and turning that quality into a point of fascination. Each and every minute expression conveys the loneliness, the waywardness, the stubbornness, and the rebelliousness of this drifter.
Compelling us to reassess our values concerning security, responsibility, and community, Varda’s masterpiece remains a haunting testament to French neorealism and begs a most disturbing question: is there anything that can be done for individuals who don’t want to be helped? (Research Chris Coetsee) Come for Sandrine Bonnaire’s very clever non-acting. It is Mona you take on. At times you might even like her…