Writer/director Bertrand Tavernier (“A Sunday in the Country,” “’Round Midnight”) is truly one of the grand auteurs of the movies. His experience is vast, his knowledge is voluminous, his love is inexhaustible, and his perspective is matched only by that of Martin Scorsese. This magnificent, epic documentary has been a lifetime in the making. Tavernier knows his native cinema inside and out — from the giants like Renoir, Godard, and Melville (for whom he worked as an assistant) to now overlooked and forgotten figures like Edmund T. Gréville and Guy Gilles — and his observations and reminiscences are never less than penetrating and always deeply personal.
The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis writes: “Bertrand Tavernier’s ‘My Journey Through French Cinema’ delivers what it promises. Even so, its explanatory title doesn’t begin to convey just how exhilarating or inspiring a documentary this truly is, and how excellent a trip this well-respected French director takes you on.