Vagabond (Sans Toit ni Loi) [1985]

“If you want to live, you stop”

Director : Agnes Varda

Writer : Agnes Varda

Actors : Sandrine Bonnaire

Story : Mona was once working in an office in Paris and was doing quite fine until she woke up and acted on her impulse to wander free and aimlessly in the country. When we first see her she is an unnamed, dirty, frozen body in a ditch found accidentally. Then we start seeing flashback of her life and the path that lead to her death, also several of the people she encountered along the way look in the camera lens and talk about the experience of meeting her.

What I Liked :

it is a bit difficult to talk about this movie, since I still can’t figure out if I liked it or not and I watched this 2 moths ago, and it is fair to say it is hard to watch it too. Nothing interesting happens Mona just keeps on going down her self-destroying path and anyone who tries to help her faces a selfish, big-mouthed, bit crazy woman. She just doesn’t care. The movie is about a woman who doesn’t cares about anything or anyone. She uses several people and gets used herself too, but all this happens without her caring.

– it is an ambitious movie, and Sandrine Bonnaire was brilliant in the role of Mona, it felt like her character was a second skin on her (she even won a Cesar award for her performance). She manages to make Mona both sympathetic and distasteful. At one point in her journey she meets a young professor and seeing how he stares at her she simply asks Are you afraid of me? he was. Because she represents everything we are told from out birth to fear. We don’t see a young free-spirited women, we see a smelly, dirty homeless woman not giving a fuck. And it’s not okey. Even though I knew how the story ends I kept waiting for her to wake up and do something.

– The story is the most powerful towards the ending, when Mona is absolutely dehumanized, an you realise this is it, the death scene will come immediately. IT is rather painful to watch her at the end, somehow she has a look in her eye that she knows what is waiting around the corner, but it’s too late.

– Th strange thing for me was that I didn’t feel bad for her. She lived the life she chose, there are people who do this, and after reading some reviews it seemed quite a lot people thought she regretted her decisions, but I don’t think this is the case. I think she only thought this is it, I’m dying now.

– there are several characters from the movie that will stay with you, the goat herder, the vineyard worker, the professor.

– I ‘d like to underline one more character, the philosophical goat herder, there is no way he won’t get to you, and he provides the best description of Mona : “She blew in like the wind. No plans, no goals, no wishes, no wants. We suggested things to her. She didn’t want to do a thing. Wandering? That’s withering! By proving she’s useless, she helps a system she rejects. It’s not wandering, it’s withering”

What I didn’t Like :

– the nothingness behind it. The film is juts like Mona’s life, touches a few people, but in a bigger scale juts fades away.

Final Note :

-3 out of 4

Interesting facts:

– the philosophical goat herdsmen, really is as he told Mona, a former philosophy professor who quit in order to “get back to the land”

Trailer :

CAUTION

you gonna hate the word Vagabond after watching this trailer

watch?v=lD85n6hCRqo

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2 thoughts on “Vagabond (Sans Toit ni Loi) [1985]

  1. Well, I won’t be renting it soon, but I enjoyed your review tremendously.

    For me, the most arresting part was the line you quoted from the goat herder:

    By proving she’s useless, she helps a system she rejects.

    That just might be one of the most profound remarks I’ve ever come across.

    Many thanks, excellent post.

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