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My Journey Through French Cinema (2016)

Voyage à travers le cinéma français (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary | 12 October 2016 (France)
1:26 | Trailer
Bertrand Tavernier's personal journey through French cinema, from films he enjoyed as a boy to his own early career, told through portraits of key creative figures.


Bertrand Tavernier
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bertrand Tavernier ... Himself
François Truffaut ... Himself (archive footage)
Jean-Paul Gaultier ... Himself (archive footage)
Jean Renoir ... Himself (archive footage)
Jean-Paul Le Chanois Jean-Paul Le Chanois ... Himself (archive footage)
Jean Gabin ... Himself (archive footage)
Henri Decoin Henri Decoin ... Himself (archive footage)
Marcel Carné ... Himself (archive footage)
Henri Jeanson Henri Jeanson ... Himself (archive footage)
Alexandre Trauner ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Kosma Joseph Kosma ... Himself (archive footage)
Antoine Duhamel Antoine Duhamel ... Himself (archive footage)
Eddie Constantine ... Himself (archive footage)
Michel Deville ... Himself (archive footage)
Henri Langlois ... Himself (archive footage)


Bertrand Tavernier's personal journey through French cinema, from films he enjoyed as a boy to his own early career, told through portraits of key creative figures.

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Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 October 2016 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

My Journey Through French Cinema See more »

Filming Locations:

Lyon, France See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,636, 25 June 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Did You Know?


Features Ça va barder (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

Passionate, thorough, hollow and dull
1 October 2017 | by horsebeaverfoxmanSee all my reviews

It's hard not to smile at the giddiness in Bertrand Tavernier's voice as he recounts the French films that inspired him in his youth and fascinated him in his later years. "My Journey Through French Cinema" is a French-language film documenting Tavernier's love for the rich French history of film, reaching back as early as Jacques Becker and extending as close to the present as Jean Renoir and Lino Ventura. Tavernier's passion carries much of the film, as does a very well-edited and well-selected series of clips from the films in question. But ultimately, the film's own nature undermines it.

This is by no means the most excitingly framed documentary ever made. It features only Tavernier as an interview subject, with famous French directors and actors popping up intermittently in historical footage.

Tavernier wonderfully narrates the odyssey through his youth, and the amount of personal history he brings to it is charming, but there isn't enough effort put into the presentation outside of the film clips. It's fun to see Jean Claude Belmondo in "Léon Morin, Priest" and Alain Delon in "Le Samourai," but when we cut back to the same stale office setting with Tavernier for a few brief, fleeting seconds before being thrust back into a three-hour film history lecture, the film only nurses its disconnect between subject and audience.

Consider "David Lynch: The Art Life" or "Listen to Me, Marlon," two documentaries of immense power that draw all of their flair, excitement, intrigue and depth from how they choose to approach their subjects. Here, Tavernier structures his film as a lecture. There, those documentaries are art. The final product of Tavernier's work is a passionate study of French cinema, but one that cannot hold appeal for those unfamiliar with "Le Grande Illusion," "Army of Shadows" or "Breathless."

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