The Gleaners and I by French New Wave Agnes Varda

“The remains of a crop after harvesting, which must be left for the poor. The Mosaic law enjoins: “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God” (Lev. xix. 9, 10). “When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shallbe for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow” (Deut. xxiv. 20, 21). These provisions belong to the agricultural poor-laws of the Bible, the transgression of which was punishable with stripes. In the Book of Ruth there is a description of the manner in which the fields were gleaned. The poor followed the reapers at their work, and gathered all the remains of the crop, both those that fell out of the hands of the reaper and those that escaped the sickle (Ruth ii. 2)”
Jewish Encyclopedia

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2 thoughts on “The Gleaners and I by French New Wave Agnes Varda

  1. I finally had some time to watch this video, which was so very interesting, reminding me of my grandmother who used to pick dandelions for salad. A couple was recently fined in the City of Chicago for picking dandelions on the parkways. It made me so sad to hear that. You’ve stirred up a lot of emotions, questions, feelings in sharing this. Thank you.
    When I posted about Lark Rise to Candleford, the video from the series that I used shows a wonderful scene of the members of the hamlet reaping the harvest, working together, and of the women, walking behind, picking up the gleanings, which they called the leavens.

    1. Leavens–I like that. A friend of ours lives near an apple orchard and he gets to take whatever apples fall to the ground. He just delivered 6 huge bags of apples to us. What a gift as our apple orchard is a complete failure so far 🙂 We spent yesterday peeling and cutting 3 of the bags for pie and apple crisp–10 quarts so far!

      It’s so sad to hear that even dandelion greens on highways are off limits to the American people. Ugh. While the Gleaners movie was deep and thought provoking I did smile a little at the lame rap music in one scene 🙂 Rap in French just doesn’t work (sorry French people). haha

      I started watching Lark Rise a while back and really enjoyed it–gotta love those Brits. We don’t have TV reception so I had to return the series before I could finish. Maybe this winter I’ll try again.

      Cranford (?) was good too but everyone I liked kept dying. Are you a PBS lover? My mother always tells me about these great shows she’s watching and I get jealous!

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