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631 Ratings

One Sings, the Other Doesn't

L'une chante, l'autre pas

Directed by Agnès Varda
France, Belgium, 1977
Drama, Musical


This feminist decade-spanning musical is a chronicle of the friendship between Suzanne, 22, and Pauline, 17, who first meet in 1962 when Suzanne, who is already a mother of two, decides to get an abortion. The film then jumps ten years ahead, finding the pair at very different stages in their lives.

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One Sings, the Other Doesn't Directed by Agnès Varda
The film teems with Varda’s effortless ebullience, its world scooped from inside her head and thrown into the frame like paint onto a canvas.
September 21, 2018
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There is a powerful sense of optimism that lingers all around those photos, those faces, those idyllic, long holiday nights spent together in the company of other women, men and kids. . . . One Sings, the Other Doesn’t is still a portrait, but one of two extraordinary women who, markedly different as they may be, both fought for the same right: “to gain the happiness of being a woman.”
June 25, 2018
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Varda’s versatility, longevity and cheerful matriarch image have made her cinema’s most distinctive feminist role model, and the time is clearly right to rediscover different achievements of feminist history, meaning that One Sings, the Other Doesn’t couldn’t be more timely a re-release. But despite its historical importance and its relevance to contemporary debate, it hasn’t, in itself, dated well.
May 31, 2018
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