7.8/10
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40 user 54 critic

Vagabond (1985)

Sans toit ni loi (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama , Romance | 16 May 1986 (USA)
A young woman's body is found frozen in a ditch. Through flashbacks and interviews, we see the events that led to her inevitable death.

Director:

Agnès Varda

Writer:

Agnès Varda
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8 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sandrine Bonnaire ... Mona Bergeron, sans toit ni loi
Setti Ramdane Setti Ramdane ... le marocaine qui la trouve
Francis Balchère Francis Balchère ... un gendarme
Jean-Louis Perletti Jean-Louis Perletti ... un autre
Urbain Causse Urbain Causse ... un paysan interrogé
Christophe Alcazar Christophe Alcazar ... un autre, brûleyrr de fossé
Dominique Durand Dominique Durand ... le premier motard
Joël Fosse Joël Fosse ... l'autre, Paulo, amant de Yolande
Patrick Schmit Patrick Schmit ... le camionneur
Daniel Bos Daniel Bos ... Le démolisseur
Katy Champaud Katy Champaud ... le jeune fille à la pompe
Raymond Roulle Raymond Roulle ... le vieux aux allumettes
Henri Fridlani Henri Fridlani ... le fossoyeur
Patrick Sokol Patrick Sokol ... le jaune homme au sandwich
Pierre Imbert Pierre Imbert ... le garagiste
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Storyline

In winter in the south of France, a young woman is found frozen in a ditch. She's unkempt, a vagabond. Through flashbacks and brief interviews, we trace her final weeks as she camps alone or falls in with various men and women, many of whom project their needs onto her or try to give her life direction. She squats in an old house smoking hash with a man, falls for a Tunisian laborer and works beside him pruning grape vines, stays with a couple shepherding goats, meets an agronomist trying to save plane trees, gets tipsy with an old woman, and has an offer to appear in porn films. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Arabic | English

Release Date:

16 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vagabond See more »

Filming Locations:

Vendargues, Hérault, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

In the opening segment, Mona (Sandrine Bonnaire) is lying in a ditch in the vineyard. The character Mona is supposed to be dead, but if you look at the actress's neck you can clearly see a neck artery visibly pulsing. See more »

Quotes

la platonologne Mme Landier: Why did you drop out?
Mona Bergeron, sans toit ni loi: Champagne on the road's better!
See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

A Contre-Courant
Written by Valérie Lagrange and Ian Jelfs
Performed by Valérie Lagrange
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Moth Effect?
6 August 2007 | by ThurstonHungerSee all my reviews

With an antagonizing protagonist who is as doomed as the plane trees in the film...this film could be seen as strictly nihilistic. I recently watched "SherryBaby" and strongly preferred this film which I watched a week prior, and yet I still find myself pondering Sandrine Bonnaire's portrayal of a woman who is stranded.

Indeed "No one makes it alone" could better be the tag line here, and Bonnaire's Mona goes on an odyssey that is nothing short of harrowing. Also trading heroin chic for (self-imposed?) homeless bleak pushed us into less charted filmic waters. Choosing an unknown for the title role was also a good call I suspect. The film is now older than it's lead actress was at the time.

So much of the film talks about how Mona stinks, perhaps smell-a-vision would have helped ;> Honestly her face is still too attractive, although wide and maybe manly in a way, that for me the sense of her scent didn't wash. That being said, her disaffection was on display so well, that you could see her as having a dirty soul. At nearly every chance of being likable she veers to the other direction, the one notable exception for me being her interaction with the "platonologne" (is that like octogenarian, don't know the French...the characters all had interesting descriptions in the credits)..

Additionally, from the English subtitles and snatches of French, I sense the dialog (should I say dialogue) in this was quite cutting and clever in parts.

While Mona lives without roof or law, while she may move without purpose or direction, she is more than a human tumbleweed. She does not live without leaving a trace...but the filmmaker keeps us intentionally distant from her, we are never allowed inside her mental tent. Thus our composite sketch of her is as complex and contradictory as the people she encounters. Not only does Mona live without control over her life, her death as well eludes her.

Viewers may find it less easy to escape.

Thurston Hunger 7/10


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