One Sings, the Other Doesn’t
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One Sings, the Other Doesn’t Agnès Varda, France, 1977, 116 min., French w/ English subtitles Agnès Varda’s unsung feminist anthem is both a buoyant chronicle of a transformative friendship and an empowering vision of universal sisterhood. When 17-year-old Pauline (Valérie Mairesse) helps struggling mother of two Suzanne (Thérèse Liotard) procure the money for an abortion, a deep bond forms between the two, one that endures over the course of more than a decade as each searches for her place in the world—encountering the dawning of the women’s movement, dreamy boho musical numbers, and an Iranian adventure along the way. Initially divisive for its sunny, idealized view of female liberation, One Sings, the Other Doesn’t now seems all the more radical—and all the more vital—for its unabashedly utopian spirit.