Faces Places (2017)

"They fight. But human beings fight too." says a woman when asked what happens if you don't cut goats' horns. Well, that's one of the many powerful and thought-provoking things said in Faces Places (French: Visages Villages), a road movie/documentary that works as a tribute to rural France and as a reflexion on art, friendship and morality. 

This documentary follows 89-year-old filmmaker Angès Varda (which I didn't know before watching this) and JR, a very unique photographer and street artist. The two travel together around rural France in a truck equipped as a portable photo booth. They meet locals and learn about their lives, they take their photographs and turn them into art by enlarging and pasting them on houses, buildings, ruins and containers. And along the way, the odd but beautiful friendship between Agnès and JR will grow stronger.

There are many things that could have gone wrong with this but they didn't. One of the reasons, the main one, is that the filmmakers, Varda and JR, put a sincere interest in what they were doing, in the people they met and the message they wanted to deliver, and that's why Faces Places engaged me so much. 

Varda and JR don't just meet people, as I said above, they talk with them, they ask them things, they have a genuine interest in learning about them. Those they meet on their journey are average people, working-class people, ordinary people. But each of them as their own story to tell, stories that are charming in their ordinariness. 

Le Pacte
What I liked about Faces Places is also that it explores the lives both of Angès Varda and JR. She is nearly 90, she is losing her eyesight and therefore she is trying to preserve her memories with pictures, and yet what a victory is for her to feel good, to still be able to do what she loves the most, making films. JR is a bit of a supporting character but he's still interesting, and the fact that he never takes off his sunglasses shows that he is a true artist.

Ultimately, Faces Places is a charming, heartwarming and moving documentary, and if you get the chance, you should definitely check it out. Spoiler alert, you will want to go to France after seeing this.

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  1. I want to go to France before seeing this. lol. I really do want to check this out, I hope it hits DVD here soon.

    1. I hope you get to see this soon and go to France too :)

  2. I really want to see this as I've seen some films by Varda who is legend and everyone needs to see her films. She is considered to be... the Godmother of the French New Wave. Plus, I would love to go to France one of these days (just need to learn the language properly as I only know a few words) and hopefully, Cannes.

    1. I really want to check out her movies now. Going to France and Cannes is a dream of mine too. My French is so basic though but I have no intention in improving it. I guess I'll bring my (French) mother with me if or when I go.