One of France's premiere directors, screenwriters, and producers, Bertrand Tavernier is renowned for making dramas encompassing themes as diverse as familial relationships, World War I, and contemporary social ills. Regardless of the subjects they explore, Tavernier lends his films great introspection and humanity, something that has established him as one of the French cinema's more progressive and compassionate figures.
Born in Lyon on April 25, 1941, Tavernier grew up with a love of film and wanted to be a director from the age of 13. He was particularly influenced by such American directors as Joseph Losey, John Ford, Samuel Fuller, and William Wellman, and -- during a spell at the Sorbonne, where he studied law -- he became involved in the film industry as an assistant director for Jean-Pierre Melville. By his own admission, he was not very good at the job, so Tavernier became a film critic. While working for such prestigious publications as Positif and Cahiers du Cinema, he wrote two books on the American cinema, one of which has had numerous editions.