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Claire Denis        

Filmmaker; Known for "Beau Travail" and "White Material"

Claire Denis was born on April 21, 1946 in Paris, France. She is a director and assistant director, known for Beau Travail (1999), White Material (2009) and 35 Shots of Rum (2008).

Denis was born in Paris, but raised in colonial French Africa, where her father was a civil servant. She lived in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, French Somaliland, and Senegal. Her childhood spent living in West Africa with her parents and her younger sister would impact her perspectives on political issues. It has been a strong influence on her films, which often deal with themes of colonialism and post-colonialism in Africa.

Growing up in West Africa, she used to watch the old and damaged copies of war films sent from the U.S. When Denis was 14 years old, she moved with her mother and sister to a Parisian suburb in France, as her parents wanted her and her sister to finish their education in France.

Her feature film directorial debut Chocolat, a semi-autobiographical meditation on African colonialism, won her critical acclaim. It was selected for the Cannes Film Festival and was praised by critics and audiences alike as a remarkable first film.

With films such as US Go Home, Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day, and Vendredi soir, she established herself as a filmmaker who could reconcile the beauty of French cinema with the harsh reality of contemporary France. She returned to Africa again with White Material, set in an unidentified country during a time of civil war.

Her most recent film, High Life, is a horror science fiction film that stars Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche. It premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. High Life is Denis' first film in the English language.


The Fearless Cinema of Claire Denis | The New Yorker

Only as an adult did Claire Denis realize that she hadn't been afraid of the lions all those years ago. She suspects that she was too young to be frightened, she ...

Claire Denis Talks to Barry Jenkins About Director Anxiety and ...

Claire Denis, the world's greatest working filmmaker, is sitting on a couch drinking herbal tea. She is in New York promoting her new film, “High Life,” an ...

Robert Pattinson and Claire Denis Talk 'High Life' - The Atlantic

The first image of Claire Denis's new film, High Life, is an arresting one: a baby, seemingly abandoned on a spaceship. Eventually, her cries are soothed over a ...

Claire Denis' Surreal 'High Life' Leads Indie Box Office

Claire Denis' surreal sci-fi film "High Life" opened on four screens in New York and Los Angeles and earned the top per screen average with $25007.

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