VAGABOND (Sans toit ni loi ) (1985) by Agnés Varda:
In winter in the south of France, a young woman is found frozen in a ditch. She's unkempt, a vagabond. Through flashbacks and brief interviews, we trace her final weeks as she camps alone or falls in with various men and women, many of whom project their needs onto her or try to give her life direction. She squats in an old house smoking hash with a man, falls for a Tunisian laborer and works beside him pruning grape vines, stays with a couple shepherding goats, meets an agronomist trying to save plane trees, gets tipsy with an old woman, and has an offer to appear in porn films.
Sandrine Bonnaire won the Best Actress César for her portrayal of the defiant young drifter Mona. Agnès Varda pieces together Mona’s story told by those who encountered her (played by a largely nonprofessional cast), producing a splintered portrait of an enigmatic woman.
Vagabond won 1st prize at the Venice Film Festival and is considered to be one of Agnés Varda's greater feminist works in how the film deals with the de-fetishization of female body from the male perspective.
The career of Agnès Varda is an important and often overlooked voice in the modern French cinema. Her career pre-dates the start of the Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave), and La Pointe Courte contains many elements specific to that movement that make it famous.
Despite similarities to the French New Wave, films by Varda belonged more precisely to the complementary Rive Gauche (Left Bank) cinema movement, along with Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Jean Cayrol and Henri Colpi. The group was strongly tied to the nouveau roman movement in literature and politically was positioned to the Left. Like the French New Wave, its members would often collaborate with each other.