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Directed by Agnès Varda

France 1977 120 mins. In French

Varda’s mid-career film, dripping in garish ’70s color schemes, is a paean to female friendship and solidarity. The friendship of free-spirited Pauline (Valérie Mairesse) and down-to-earth Suzanne (Thérèse Liotard) forms in the early ’60s after Pauline visits a photography show staged by Suzanne’s partner. Over the years, the two women weave in and out of each other’s lives, which take divergent yet intricately connected paths. Varda charts their experiences as a series of dichotomies, Pauline and Suzanne working hard to understand the other’s experiences while attending to their own worldviews and major life events. One Sings, the Other Doesn’t is a complex, layered portrait of two women in the thick of political turmoil and social upheaval. “In politics, or as feminists, there are different ways in which we can work. If you want to make a feminist film, you can work outside the system, in the underground, and you can make a very radical statement, but even if your message is very good, you will reach perhaps five thousand people. You will never reach the mass of women.”—Agnès Varda.