Claire Denis

Claire Denis (born 21 April 1948) is a French film director and Professor of Film at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Denis was born in Paris, France, and raised in colonial Africa (Burkina Faso, Somalia, Senegal and Cameroon), where her father was a French civil servant. Her childhood spent living in West Africa with her parents and her younger sister would color her perspectives on certain political issues and eventually influence several reoccurring themes in her films, such as colonialism and post-colonialism. She moved houses every two years because her father wanted them to know about geography. She used to watch the old damaged copies of war films sent from America when she was growing up in Africa. As an adolescent she loved to read. She would read all the required material in school, but would then sneak her mother's detective stories at night. When she was 14 years old, she moved with her mother and sister to a Parisian suburb in France, a country that she hardly knew at all despite her nationality. Denis initially studied economics, but, she has said, "It was completely suicidal. Everything pissed me off."