The movies, not the reviews, are in French.
In the television dead zone that is Advent I have been happy about the existence of Netflix and Hulu. So much so that I may, after a dozen years, go back to being without a television.
The Gleaners and I is a 2000 treatment, with a 2002 update, of gleaners in France, inspired by Millais's painting. Agnes Varda documents her own attempts at gleaning and those of others. Not limited to fields, vineyards and orchards, gleaning goes on at farmers' markets, at the shore, in dumpsters and metaphorically. Vargas also explores the legal framework that permits gleaning.
I found Vargas' discoveries charming and never condescending - and I felt encouraged to see what more I might do to undertake some organized gleaning here. But I'm not sure I have the courage or the fitness levels required for dumpster diving!
The problem with watching French movies, of course, is that while I catch some of the language, I do depend on the subtitles, and that means I don't get much knitting done while watching them. Food Beware: the French Organic Revolution did leave me some moments to tune out a bit - it's a very heavy health and food-caused illness emphasis, which for me is not the primary reason to eat organic food. What I really liked, in this movie centered on reforming a school lunch program in an agricultural area of France, was watching the children eat. They sat at tables for eight or so, mixed ages, with the food served family style. The cooks actually came out of the kitchen, prodding some children to eat their vegetables, interviewing others about their reactions to what was being served. Oh that we would have a little more of this human community around our institutional food here in the U.S. Or even our family meals, dare I say it. Seeing the kids in their vegetable patch, watching the whole community get behind the transition to organics, and listening the challenges of agriculturalists in the area did hold my interest for much of the movie.
This coming week I will mostly be doing "my own work" which will include more blog updates including movie reviews.