Every year, $91 million are left on the streets of New York. Here’s one man who harvests some of it to survive. Link
He and others like him call themselves canners and they are the modern day gleaners.
For her latest documentary, “The Gleaners and I,” [Agnès] Varda turned her mini DV-camera on an old practice — foraging for wheat left after the harvest — to create a portrait of modern day “gleaners,” those hungry people who live on the leftovers the rest of us have discarded, and those, like herself, who create art of the images and materials they collect.
indieWIRE: Gleaning is such an unusual subject. I wonder what drew you to it as the topic for a documentary.
Agnès Varda: Gleaning itself is not known — is forgotten. The word is passé. So I was intrigued, by these people in the street picking food. And then I thought, what’s happening to the fields of wheat? Nothing is left in the fields of wheat. So I went to the potatoes, and I found these heart-shaped potatoes, and it made me feel good. Made me feel that I was on the right track.
Heart-shaped potatoes, like other odd-shaped potatoes, are leftover because shoppers only pick round, perfectly shaped ones.