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Agnes Varda and Sandrine Bonnaire

Happy Birthday to Agnes Varda! She is 80 years old.

Birthday links at Greencinedaily on Agnes

Vagabond

Sandrine Bonnaire international breakthrough came in 1986 when she played the title role in Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond), directed by Agnès Varda, for which part she won her second César Award.

Last year, Sandrine Bonnaire has directed a documentary about her autistic sister.

It is surely a first — an international movie star (Sandrine Bonnaire) making a patient, respectful, thoroughly unnarcissistic documentary about her own handicapped sister, and stumping for policy change as she considers painful mysteries about family and the passage of time in the process. “Her Name Is Sabine” (2007) is a simple, unpretentious piece of work — Bonnaire spends an enormous amount of time simply observing the managed-care home where Sabine, nearing 40, lives now with a handful of other adults with varying modes and manifestations of autism. Slowly, Sabine’s history is dripped in — as a child, teen and young adult, she was different, “off,” but lucid, literate, energetic and capable of playing Chopin. She went without diagnosis for decades. As her siblings — ten of them — grew up one by one and left home, Sabine, robbed of stimulus, began to deteriorate; a series of hospital stays and hired nurses followed, and then a five-year long institutional stay in which Sabine grew violent and was tamped down by straitjackets and antipsychotic drugs. The filmmaker glosses over it, but Sabine, perhaps now permanently debilitated, was eventually rescued to a new facility that her famous sister had to raise money for herself, using her fame as an actress and celebrity. (Michael Atkins– read more here.)

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