What begins as a documentary on a fading cultural practice―scouring fields for produce that has been left behind after a harvest―soon becomes something far more personal for director Agnes Varda: a consideration of how her own filmmaking is a form of gleaning, a way of scouring the world for images and stories that others might otherwise not have noticed. As such, The Gleaners and I is a treasure trove for Varda die-hards interested in her as an extra-textual subject. At one point she describes the small digital camera she uses as both “fantastic” and “narcissistic”; later, we get a POV shot of her reaching out to pick heart-shaped potatoes, followed by a series of close-ups of her finds. It’s fascinating at first to see her creative instincts at work in real time, yet when she later describes the various colors and textures of the cabbages she’s simultaneously filming, you have to wonder: is this more or less interesting than simply experiencing such imagery, unexplained, in her other work? (I think of the numerous detail shots sprinkled throughout La Pointe Courte, for instance.) Of course we don’t have to choose, and The Gleaners and I offers other compelling elements, from the off-handed, confessional moments when she describes the “horror” of her aging hands to an editing scheme that nicely transitions from paintings of gleaners from earlier centuries to archival photographs of gleaners in recent decades to video footage of the gleaners Varda spoke with for the film. This may be minor Varda, in a way, but it’s also a moving summation of her life’s work.