The film opens with the discovery of a corpse frozen in a vineyard, her face covered in the harvest dregs. Varda resurrects her mysterious young heroine 'Mona' through the recollections of those who paid witness to the last weeks of her life. What transpires is a portrait of a defiant, headstrong young woman, played with steely-eyed authenticity by Sandrine Bonnaire. Purposefully living on the margins of society, Mona elicits strong reactions: from the young men who see her as 'easy prey' to those who see sorrow and others a beacon of freedom. Varda infuses Mona with such complexity that it's impossible not to feel vindicated, shamed and inspired all at once; the film remains one of her most complex and masterful works.
See all 10 titles in this year's Varda retrospective with a Viva Varda package.
Join Viva Varda Curator, Kristy Matheson for An Audience Guide to Varda
Also screening at the festival is Varda’s last work Varda by Agnès