Screened as part of NZIFF 2019

Vagabond 1985

Sans toit ni loi

Directed by Agnès Varda Vive la Varda!

An unforgettable Sandrine Bonnaire won the Best Actress César, and Agnès Varda Venice Film Festival’s top prize, in this defiantly feminist masterpiece.

France In French with English subtitles
106 minutes DCP



Oury Milshtein


Patrick Blossier


Agnès Varda
Patricia Mazuy

Production designers

Jean Bauer
Anne Violet


Joanna Bruzdowicz


Sandrine Bonnaire (Mona Bergeron)
Macha Méril (Mme. Landier)
Stéphane Freiss (Jean-Pierre)
Yolande Moreau (Yolande)
Patrick Lepcynski (David)
Yahiaoui Assouna (Assoun)


Golden Lion (Best Film), Venice Film Festival 1985


“Among the finest films of the 1980s, Agnès Varda’s powerful story of a young female drifter moving beyond the bounds of society remains essential viewing…

Infused with a uniquely feminist sensibility… [and] set against the frigid winter landscape of rural France, it follows Mona (Sandrine Bonnaire), a complex and contradictory drifter, who survives on handouts and ephemeral liaisons with strangers. We begin at the end, with the discovery of her corpse in a ditch. Then, through flashbacks and interviews with people who came into contact with her, Varda’s film attempts to reconstruct the final days of her life…

Using a moody and desaturated colour palette, Patrick Blossier’s painterly photography sets the enigmatic Mona against a stark French landscape of icy skies, wind-blown sand and frozen hayfields... From the dim abandoned rooms where Mona takes cover to the brightly lit homes where she’s excluded, every shot, every frame of Vagabond is expressed in sparsely poetic images.” — Amy Simmons, BFI

“There are moments of pure grace, dazzling and unexpected instances of the sublime [in Vagabond]… a celebration of everything human.” — Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, The Criterion Collection