Whilst most eyes look to Hollywood and American independent films for their inspiration, it’s arguable that the most innovative, influential and important international cinema has actually come from France. The likes of Renoir, Malle, Godard and Truffaut have inspired countless filmmakers, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In My Journey Through French Cinema, Bertrand Tavernier gives his own personal insight into his country’s cinema.

Whilst Tavernier is a screenwriter, director and producer, his love of film is what drives this documentary. A sworn cinephile, his love affair with cinema began at an early age. Beginning with his first glimpses of Jacques Becker films, he charts his personal voyage of discovery. Like an unaccompanied child in the proverbial sweet shop, his attachment of all things cinematic shines through. This is his life. The period around World War II is clearly the most interesting and the most influential for him.

Because it’s such a personal insight, My Journey Through French Cinema flows almost seamlessly through different aspects and eras of French cinema. Whilst he delves into some of the more obvious areas (Mellville, Renoir, Gabin), there’s something to discover for even the most ardent devotees of Gallic cinema. My Journey Through French Cinema is a must for all film fans. A very singular look at the way film can inspire, awe and astound.

My Journey Through French Cinema is out in cinemas from 15 September.