Friday, December 9, 2016

Joy in the Struggle: The Gleaners and I

If the ultimate purpose of directors is to guide the tone of a film, then Agnes Verda is the most successful of all directors.  Even in the darkest of her films, she finds a way to infuse a lighthearted joy, allowing us to smile in surprising moments in her protagonist’s struggles.  This is a collection of real people, including the director herself, gathering up the discarded elements of our society and find it useful and even necessary.  We see a number of people on the edge of survival, and yet they matter-of-factly, even happily, pursue their lives, whether chosen or not.  

In the struggle there is joy, there is joy in the struggle. We might feel defeated, but we still must struggle, not just for ourselves, but for those around us.  And in that struggle, we need to laugh and make light of ourselves.  We need to feel the joy of love.  And in the midst of our joy, we need to recognize that it is also hard work, to keep afloat in a world with so much opposition, with so much difficulty.  Along with the joy, we can feel a pride in the work of love and compassion we participate in. 

Also watch: In America, 7th Heaven, Tideland

Keep reading our blog series, The Way Forward

1 comment:

  1. Varda is one of my favorite directors ever! I love her more recent films in particular, she leaves an impression of her personality on them which make her films even more enjoyable. I really like your explanation of the documentary!