Claire Denis (born April 21, 1948) is a Paris-based filmmaker internationally known for her investigation of the human condition with its cross-cultural tensions and family troubles.
Denis was born in Paris, France. She is a graduate of IDHEC, the French Film School, and served as assistant to Jacques Rivette, Costa-Gavras, Jim Jarmusch, and Wim Wenders.
Her debut feature film Chocolat (1988), a semi-autobiographical meditation on African colonialism, won her critical acclaim. With films such as US Go Home (1994), Nenette and Boni (1997), Good Work (Beau Travail) (1999), Trouble Every Day (2001), and Friday Night (2003) she established a reputation as a filmmaker who 'has been able to reconcile the lyricism of French cinema with the impulse to capture the often harsh face of contemporary France'.
Denis was a bandleader, worked as an actress, notably in Venus Beauty Institute (2000), and directed for French TV. Two of her movies (L'Intrus and her contribution to Ten Minutes Older: The Cello) were inspired by the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy.
Claire Denis teaches Cinema as Cultural Anthropology at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland where she examines contemporary filmmaking as an exploration into multi-ethnic and cross-cultural environments.