Vagabond (1985 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byAgnès Varda
Written byAgnès Varda
Produced byOury Milshtein
StarringSandrine Bonnaire
Macha Méril
Yolande Moreau
CinematographyPatrick Blossier
Edited byPatricia Mazuy
Agnès Varda
Music byJoanna Bruzdowicz
Fred Chichin
Distributed byMK2 Diffusion
Release dates
  • September 1985 (1985-09) (Venice)
  • 4 December 1985 (1985-12-04)
Running time
105 minutes
Box office$8.1 million[1]

Vagabond (French: Sans toit ni loi, "with neither shelter nor law") is a 1985 French drama film directed by Agnès Varda, featuring Sandrine Bonnaire. It tells the story of a young woman, a vagabond, who wanders through the Languedoc-Roussillon wine country one winter. The film was the 36th highest-grossing film of the year with a total of 1,080,143 admissions in France.[2]


The film begins with the contorted body of a young woman lying in a ditch, covered in frost. From this image, an unseen interviewer (Varda) puts the camera on the last men to see her and the one who found her. The action then flashes back to the woman, Mona, walking along the roadside, hiding from the police and trying to get a ride. Along her journey she takes up with other vagabonds as well as a Tunisian vineyard worker, a family of goat farmers, an agronomy professor, and a maid who envies what she perceives to be Mona's beautiful and passionate lifestyle. Mona explains to one of her temporary companions that at one time she was a secretary in Paris but became unsettled with the way she was living, choosing instead to wander the country, free from any responsibility. Her condition worsens until she finally falls where we first encounter her—in a ditch, frozen to death.


  • Sandrine Bonnaire as Mona Bergeron
  • Macha Méril as Mme Landier
  • Yolande Moreau as Yolande
  • Stéphane Freiss as Jean-Pierre
  • Setti Ramdane as Assoun
  • Francis Balchère as Police
  • Jean-Louis Perletti as Police
  • Urbain Causse as Farmer
  • Christophe Alcazar as Farmer
  • Joël Fosse as Paulo
  • Patrick Schmit as Truck Driver
  • Daniel Bos as Demolition Worker
  • Katy Champaud as Girl at the Pump
  • Raymond Roulle as Old Man with Matches
  • Henri Fridlani as The Gravedigger
  • Patrick Sokol as Young Man with Sandwich
  • Pierre Imbert as Mechanic

Critical reception[edit]

The movie was acclaimed by critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% of 20 critics gave the film a positive review, for an average rating of 8.8/10.[3]


The film combines straightforward narrative scenes, in which we see Mona living her life, with pseudo-documentary sequences in which people who knew Mona turn to the camera and say what they remember about her. Significant events are sometimes left unshown, so that the viewer must piece information together to gain a full picture.

Vagabond was filmed in the departments of Gard, Hérault and Bouches-du-Rhône.[4]

The title[edit]

The original French title, Sans toit ni loi ("With neither shelter nor law"), is a play on a common French idiom, "Sans foi ni loi", meaning "With neither faith nor law". It also puns on sans toi ("without you").

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Name Outcome
César Awards Best Film Agnès Varda Nominated
Best Director Agnès Varda Nominated
Best Actress Sandrine Bonnaire Won
Best Supporting Actress Macha Méril Nominated
French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Best Film Agnès Varda Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Foreign Film Agnès Varda Won
Best Actress Sandrine Bonnaire Won
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Actress Sandrine Bonnaire Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Foreign Language Film Agnès Varda Nominated
Sant Jordi Awards Best Foreign Actress Sandrine Bonnaire Won
Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Agnès Varda Won
FIPRESCI Prize Agnès Varda Won
OCIC Award Agnès Varda Won


  1. ^ JP. "Sans toît ni loi (1985)- JPBox-Office".
  2. ^ JP. "Sans toît ni loi (1985)- JPBox-Office".
  3. ^ "Sans Toit ni Loi (Vagabond) (Without Roof or Rule)".
  4. ^ "Vagabond (1985) - IMDb" – via

External links[edit]