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“Vagabond” Film Directed by Agnes Varda


The film” Vagabond” or its French title is “Sans Toit ni Loi” begins with the discovery of a woman’s body which is found covered in frost. This character is seen as the central character of the film as her journey as a vagabond is traced throughout the film. An unseen and unheard person who is identified as the interviewer puts the camera on the people last seen with her and those who found in order to establish their recollections.

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The rest of the film is seen in flashback mode as we witness the woman’s journey-which begins with her hiding from the cops, walking along the roadside and seeking lifts from passersby’s. On this journey she is joined by other travelers who all have their stories to tell this female who seems to have lost her purpose in life and is evidently seeking one.

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The other vagabonds include the Tunisian vineyard worker, a professor who is apparently researching trees and a maid as well who is caught in the throes of jealousy for a lifestyle which appears to be fanciful and beautiful to her.

The central character is identified as Mona; who converses with her fellow travelers and through these conversations reveals much about herself. How she was employed in a well paid job but soon disillusionment took over and she had to leave that job in order to wander as a free soul-one who is apparently not bound for any rules and regulations.

This sense of anxiety comes across quite evidently and as the journey progresses, we see her getting worse and deterioration takes place until her body is finally found as it was done so in the beginning of the film.

This film makes use of several cultural elements which are presented through the style of the film as well. We see a certain sense of feminism become a prominent feature of the film. We can see that by playing the role of the hitchhiker which is seen as a thing not done by females that often. Mona is seen going against the cultural values of a society in which women play certain roles in a society. She is trying to travel on a path which is not conducive to women and hence, her utter failure is represented as the failure of women to match their male counterparts.

The film’s protagonist’s end result clearly shows that as yet the world is not ready for women liberty to an extent which is unprecedented and in a lot of ways, testing the norms to an unacceptable level. The above cultural values which come across are those of a conservative nature as the cultural does not allow the female to progress to levels which are unheard of.

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Another important element that comes across is the idea of dissatisfaction with the job which is evident in a number of corporate world cases and the disillusionment results in the end of the person’s personality and character. The person feels caught in circumstances which might be beyond the individual level and the stress levels might be clearly too high for the person to operate in. thus, all such individuals might seek a way out but might not be able to do so.

However, the protagonist has clearly done so which shows her capabilities and her initial strength which got undermined as a result of the modern culture and its attempts to enslave the free spirit. Or rather, the free spirit element might be a mere fabrication which has left the young in a position of being emotionally void. The demands of the corporate culture have depilated the mental and physical strength of this individual to this extent that she has virtually become a hollow shell of her former self.


The central character refuses to conform to the social structure and its requirements. The initial scene’s setting with the woman’s body being found amongst grapevines suggests her dismal end. The idea of Mona coming from the sea represents her ability to use the different characters to project her own ideas, attitudes and prejudices. Even the camera is used for this subjectivity and it catches her in different aspects-striding across a highway or crossing a barren field. The central character is compared with the French culture which is more conservative and less open and hence, she is reflective of the wild south as she is more open and external in a lot of ways. She in fact, is more at ease with the dogs in the film than with the citizens who have to abide by the social decorum and laws.

By the end, the viewer is made aware of the passionate intensity of a woman who dares to go beyond the social norms and in that sense, implicates us and herself.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 18). “Vagabond” Film Directed by Agnes Varda.

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"“Vagabond” Film Directed by Agnes Varda." StudyCorgi, 18 Nov. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "“Vagabond” Film Directed by Agnes Varda." November 18, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "“Vagabond” Film Directed by Agnes Varda." November 18, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "“Vagabond” Film Directed by Agnes Varda." November 18, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) '“Vagabond” Film Directed by Agnes Varda'. 18 November.

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