A young French woman, separated from her lover, tries to find a lodging in L.A. for herself and her son.



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Cast overview:
Sabine Mamou ...
Emilie Cooper
Martin Cooper
Lisa Blok-Linson ...
Lisa, l'amie (as Lisa Blok)
Tina Odom ...
Tina, la serveuse
Gary Feldman ...
L'écrivain à sa fenêtre
Tom Taplin ...
Tom Cooper
Fred Ricker ...
Le couple du motel
Kelly Ricker ...
Le couple du motel
Charles Southwood ...
L'homme au water bed
Chris Leplus ...
Le producteur de l'autre film
Barry Farrell ...
Un homme de l'autre film
Andrew Meyer ...
Un homme de l'autre film
Delphine (voice)
Gerald Ayres ...
Récitante (voice) (as Gérard Ayres)
Joan Torres ...
Récitante (voice)


A young French woman, separated from her lover, tries to find a lodging in L.A. for herself and her son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

20 January 1982 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Documenteur: An Emotion Picture  »

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Did You Know?


The couple fighting about rent were not actors and happened to be arguing while the film was being shot. Director Agnès Varda asked if her camera bothered them and neither one minded and continued to argue through the filming. See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

Poetic, ambivalent, melancholic and meditative masterpiece!
12 November 2013 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

This has to be one of the most underrated film in the history of cinema and for sure among the best films to come out of the 80s.

Documenteur starts where Agnès Varda's Mur Murs ends, but they have very little in common and do not need to be seen together.

Mur Murs is all about the external life of people. What we put on the outside of your walls. Documenteur is about our internal life, what we hide.

The title may suggest that it is a documentary but it is not. It is filmed in a documentary style, very much like Abbas Kiarostami did in his Koker trilogy. It is also inspired by her own life and Agnès Varda even uses her own son and her own editor (Sabine Mamou) to play the roles of Varda's assistance (but in reality both are a stand in for Agnès Varda and her own son). In one scene Sabine Mamou reads the narration for Mur Murs and when it is played back, we hear the voice of Varda. Sabine Mamou asks if this is really her voice and is told that we usually don't recognize our own voice. Agnès Varda was making a film about her own life but did not realize before much later that she had made a self biographic film. She did not recognize her own voice. Art imitates life.

This is a hauntingly beautiful film. Poetic, ambivalent, melancholic and meditative. It takes place in LA and a lot of the shots are at the shore. The west was a symbol of hope. But what happens when you can't go any farther west? When you are at the shore and you have lost hope, you are full of desires you can't fulfill, your life is fleeting way and you feel like you are drifting farther and farther from where you want to be.

There is almost no story here. The film focuses on emotions, a state of mind. If you like atmospheric and poetic films then this masterpiece is your cup of tea. Watch it and spread the good news. This film needs to be seen!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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