1h 5min | Drama | 20 January 1982 (France)
A young French woman, separated from her lover, tries to find a lodging in L.A. for herself and her son.
Out of the few films that I’ve seen from the iconic French New Wave director Agnes Varda, “Documenteur” is probably the one that I found to be her greatest accomplishment. There’s something about it’s strange, cold atmosphere that really stuck with me, and the film is so well made that I’m surprised how little people ever discuss it. If it were a bit more popular, I bet “Documenteur” would be analyzed countless times and get as much praise as more well known Varda films (like “Cleo from 5 to 7”)
The film mixes a realistic documentary-like style with a strange, borderline surreal atmosphere, creating a bizarre and experimental treat that made me feel oddly moved and, in one way or the other, kind of uncomfortable. It basically tells the story of a woman and her son living in Los Angeles, and that’s really it. But it is made in such a way that it feels like its actually something much more than that. It is a film that is about emotions as much as it is about a mother son relationship.
It’s also very well made, from the lovely camera movements, various experimental editing techniques, and brilliant use of voice-over, it truly is a mystical experience.
Director: Agnxc3xa8s Varda
Writer: Agnxc3xa8s Varda
Stars: Sabine Mamou, Mathieu Demy, Lisa Blok-Linson
Country: France | USA
Language: English | French
Release Date: 20 January 1982 (France)
Also Known As: Documenteur
Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA