• Laura Lee Bahr

The ‘Sweet Genius’ of Agnès Varda & The Pleasure of Friendship - review on rePROFilm Periodical


The pleasure of friendship, time-worn and as familiar as a second skin, is the comfort and delight that is Agnès Varda’s “One Sings, the Other Doesn’t” (1977). Varda — a pioneer of the French New Wave, lifelong feminist filmmaker (her career spans from 1955-2019), and “one of the Gods of Cinema” — creates an intimate portrait of women supporting women with this musical (yes, but not in the way you think “musical”).


In 1971, France, when abortion was illegal, a 16-year -old Marie-Claire stands trial, along with her mother and three other adults who helped her, for having one. She was turned in by the man who raped her. A protest outside the court where women chant, “We’ve all had abortions, put us on trial, too!” is the setting of a joyous reunion.