The film is a portrait of the making of an artist; recreating the early life of Varda’s husband, Jacques Demy, in Occupied France and his interest in the various crafts associated with film making, such as casting, set design, animation and lighting. The fictional sections set in wartime Nantes are matched with brief documentary interludes involving the dying Demy.
Agnès Varda was a Belgian-born French film director, photographer and artist. Her work was pioneering for, and central to, the development of the widely influential French New Wave film movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Her films focused on achieving documentary realism, addressing feminist issues, and/or producing other social commentary, with a distinctive experimental style.
Varda’s work employed location shooting in an era when the limitations of sound technology made it easier and more common to film indoors, with constructed sets and painted backdrops of landscapes, rather than the real thing. Her use of non-professional actors was also unconventional in the context of 1950s French cinema. Among other awards and nominations, she received an honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, an Academy Honorary Award, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.