Born in Nancy, France, in 1951, he studied philosophy and began his film career in the 1970s as assistant director to René Allio, Alain Tanner and Claude Goretta. Between 1985 and 1987, he directed mountaineering and other sports films for television. After making several shorts, he directed his debut feature-length documentary La Ville Louvre in 1990. His portrait of an orangutan, Nénette, screened in the Berlinale Forum in 2010. Since 2002, his films have been presented in over 100 retrospectives and tribute events around the world.
His Master’s Voice (1978), Louvre City (1990), Animals (1995), Every Little Thing (1996), Who Knows? (1999), To Be and to Have (2002), Back to Normandy (2007), Nénette (2009), Night Falls on the Menagerie (,2010), La maison de la Radio (2012), Each and Every Moment (2018), On the Adamant (2023)