“Every Person Is a Jigsaw Puzzle”: 5 Questions With Agnès Varda, Queen of the French New Wave


In a sense you’ve had three lives or three identities: as a photographer, a filmmaker, and now, as an artist who makes film and visual art. Exploring intersecting identities is a common approach for artists, but you have always been more interested in collective or communal identities — especially those that are on the margins (such as The Gleaners & I) — and the internal life we all share. How do you know when you’ve captured the true essence of someone or something on film?

Who can pretend having captured the real essence of someone? Every person is a jigsaw puzzle, and we understand or capture some pieces, but other will always be missing. What I try is to present people and situations through different media, erasing the borders between documentary and fiction, black and white and color, still images and moving ones. It seems to me that it gives some options to the viewers
to discover or approach one person — fictional or not — or a group of people sharing a common social identity.