Agnès Varda’s Ode to Female Friendship Returns to Theaters
Back in 1977, when One Sings, the Other Doesn’t premiered at the New York Film Festival, Molly Haskell wrote that Agnès Varda’s radical feminist musical had done “for the spirit of sorority what the films of Renoir and Truffaut have done for the spirit of fraternity.” Forty years later, Varda—who just turned ninety yesterday—remains a force of nature, but this remarkable film has gone largely unseen. Thanks to a theatrical run starting at Brooklyn’s BAMcinématek this Friday, New Yorkers will get to discover it again in a new 2K restoration. This effervescent, boldly political portrait of sisterhood spans over ten years in the lives of two friends, Pomme and Suzanne, who meet in Paris in the sixties. The two form an unshakable bond when Pomme gives Suzanne money to have an illegal abortion, but tragic circumstances cause them to drift apart, only to reunite a decade later through their feminist activism. They vow to remain close and begin keeping in touch through postcards, as their drastically different lives are forever changed by the women's liberation movement.
In anticipation of the release, we’re premiering the above clip, which picks up in 1972, when Pomme and Suzanne reconnect at a courthouse rally. Watch the video, then read what Richard Brody in the New Yorker and J. Hoberman in the New York Times have to say about the movie.