Claire Denis

Claire Denis (1948) is a French filmmaker and one of the major artistic voices of contemporary French cinema. After studying economics, Claire Denis enrolled in the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (now École nationale supérieure des métiers de l’image et du son), graduating in 1971. She started out as an assistant director to Dušan Makavejev, Costa Gavras, Jacques Rivette, Jim Jarmusch, and Wim Wenders. Denis spent her childhood and formative years traveling across Africa because of her father’s occupation as a colonial administrator. This experience formed the basis for her interest in national identity and the legacy of French colonialism, which was translated into her debut film Chocolat (1988). The fragility of human relationships is a central theme in her work, along with “the desire to see others”, which for Claire Denis equals the desire to make films, as she once noted. Her filmography includes S’en fout la mort (1990), Nenette et Boni (1996), J’ai pas sommeil (1994), Beau travail (1999), White Material (2009), and more recently Let the Sunshine in (2017) and High Life (2018).