Agnès Varda dives deep into her filmography in her last film Varda by Agnès in 2019. Her vibrant personality shines through the screen as she analyses her work throughout the years. Varda explores some of her earliest work leading up to her most recent projects; all throughout the film, her love and dedication to filmmaking is present. Varda’s range of themes are prevalent in her various films, from documentaries about gleaning that expose enormous amounts of food waste in The Gleaners and I, to a seemingly happy marriage with an unexpected twist in Le Bonheur. Varda’s experimental filmmaking techniques and combining documentary with fiction and imagination, make her films stand out spectacularly from the canon of traditionally male filmmakers and directors.

A still from Le Bonheur, some sunflowers and in the background, a blurred image of a family holding hands

Varda talks about her first film and how it was made on a low budget, yet her recent films still reflect the same filming and editing techniques, exemplifying her own trademark style of filmmaking. The film shows some of Varda’s work being made into art exhibits, again showing her incredible influence in the arts. It is apparent that her work will continue to influence and inspire future generations and future filmmakers. Varda directed, wrote and edited Varda by Agnes, showcasing her talent and cinematic style.

Watching this film, you get the sense that everyone that Agnes Varda met was greatly fascinated by her presence and her talent for filmmaking. Varda states that "People are at the heart of my work", as the film primarily focusses on real people and their stories. Despite the film being about the director and her work, there is a clear focus on her love for storytelling through the people she meets. She appears as a carefree but passionate figure discussing her filmography and love for cinema. Varda by Agnès gives a beautiful insight into Varda’s films that will leave you wanting to watch them all - it's a must-see.

Written by Angelica Petherick, EIFF Young Programmer.


Join us to watch Varda by Agnès as part of our event, Woman with a Movie Camera, on Sunday 28 Feb at 2pm! 

A still from Varda by Agnes, Agnes Varda sits on a beach in a director's chair surrounded by bird cut-outs.