Sans toit ni loi

Vagabond | Vogelfrei
One winter morning, a farmer finds a young woman frozen to death in a ditch. The film traces her story through flashbacks and interviews with people she encountered. Mona worked as a secretary before leaving it all behind to seek ultimate freedom. She hitchhikes across the south of France equipped with just a tent and a backpack. For a while, she shares her sleeping bag with a pothead hippie, but in the main, she views men as the enemy. A goat farmer patronises her, a friendly professor cossets her, a housekeeper openly admires her, a Tunisian field labourer exploits her … Agnès Varda soberly and realistically reconstructs the day-to-day life of a woman who has gone off the grid. Inspired by Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, Mona’s story comes together like pieces of a puzzle from the perspective of her various chance acquaintances. Vagabond is a fictive documentation of a youthful existence on the margins of society that was not entirely atypical for the era. As such, the film is an epitaph for all those who – whether due to daredevilry, drugs, or depression – did not survive their coming of age.
by Agnès Varda
with Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Méril, Stéphane Freiss, Yolande Moreau, Patrick Lepczynski, Yahiaoui Assouna, Joël Fosse, Marthe Jarnias, Laurence Cortadellas
France 1985 French 107’ Colour DCP: mk2 films, Paris Rating R12

For the 2023 Retrospective, internationally renowned directors, actors, and screenwriters were asked to select their personal coming-of-age favourites.
Maren Ade on her selection


  • Sandrine Bonnaire
  • Macha Méril
  • Stéphane Freiss
  • Yolande Moreau
  • Patrick Lepczynski
  • Yahiaoui Assouna
  • Joël Fosse
  • Marthe Jarnias
  • Laurence Cortadellas


Director Agnès Varda
Screenplay Agnès Varda
Cinematography Patrick Blossier
Editing Agnès Varda, Patricia Mazuy
Sound Jean-Paul Mugel
Art Directors Jean Bauer, Anne Violet
Producer Oury Milshtein

Produced by

Films A 2

Additional information

DCP: mk2 films, Paris