Another gem of a film by Varda - the depression and disconnect of the protagonist is poignantly captured in striking images, narration and awkward encounters - without it ever feeling dramatic or sensationalised.
My favorite film from my favorite director. It's deeply personal in a way that's engaged with its environment. That's what Varda does best and I'm just in awe of how emotionally profound and intellectually profound this masterwork is at the same time.
'An emotion picture' Varda's final 'California period' film is perhaps the most personal of the series despite it being a fiction film. Sabine Mamou plays a veiled version of Varda while Varda's own son Mathieu plays Martin, Sabine's fictional son. The film at 61min goes by very quickly and what it lacks in story it makes up for in emotion and observation.
I wouldn't call Documenteur bleak, exactly, but I couldn't help but find it to be something of a consummate bummer. There is a forlorn quality. There is a drabness. I cannot help but feel that Varda is giving voice to a kind of self-pity. I can think of no character trait less attractive than self-pity. What I do admire is what I perceive to be the honesty on display, as well as the understated purity of vision.
More than the wordplay, what I think I disliked, or reacted to, was seeing a particular type of 'weakness' - a faded, meek diminishment that for me is very gendered (and that apparently seems to trigger my contempt) - handled in such a straightforward, non-judgmental way. Leave it to Varda to make me confront some internalized sexism and come away more empathetic. Still, not her best. Personal growth notwithstanding.