We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
The opening shot moves in ever so slowly across the bleak fields of a French winter landscape. Two trees stand starkly outlined at the top of a hill. There is no joy here. As the camera moves closer, we see in the bottom of a ditch the blue and frozen body of a young woman. A field hand discovers her and lets out a cry.
Soon the authorities are there with their clipboards, recording those things that can be known, such as the height and weight and eye color of the corpse, and wondering about all the things that cannot be known, such as her name and how she came to be dead in a ditch.
Then we hear Agnes Varda's voice on the soundtrack, telling us that she became absorbed by the mystery of this young stranger's last months on Earth and sought the testimony of those people who had known her. "Vagabond," however, is the story of a woman who could not be known. And although there are many people who can step forward and say they spoke with the young woman, sheltered her, gave her food and drink, shared cigarettes and even sex with her, there is no one to say that they knew her.
"Vagabond" tries to feel like a documentary, a series of flashbacks to certain days in the last months of the girl's life.