In 2000, Agnès Varda made her much-praised documentary LES GLANEURS ET LA GLANEUSE / THE GLEANERS AND I, filming gleaners who live on discarded or left food. The documentary was also a disguised self-portrait of a woman who has to cope with her own old age. In DEUX ANS APRÈS / TWO YEARS LATER, Varda renews her visit to the gleaners two years later. Alain, the teacher and newsvendor who combs the markets after closing time, has become a local celebrity. He was asked, and paid, to give talks with the film screening and sold a lot more newspapers. He is far from the only one who turns his back on the consumer society by living on food and things that have been abandoned by their owners. Furthermore, Varda goes to the potato farmers in the Beauce region, the alcoholic tramp who is now in love and the wine merchant and psychoanalyst. She also meets a number of people who sent her fan mail and self-made booklets, such as the couple that gathers everyday objects and the man who has been picking up lost buttons off the ground for years. Filming is also gleaning: with her handheld camera, Varda jumps from one association to the next, not sparing herself in the process. For example, the ageing filmmaker recognises herself in the heart-shaped potato that is completely shrivelled up, but also has beautiful purple-coloured offshoots.
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