Thierry Michel is a Belgian film director, mostly making social and political documentaries. Over a twenty-year period he has made a series of documentaries on different aspects of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Taken together his films provide a unique overview of the social, economic and political life of the country. Thierry Michel was born in Charleroi in Belgium on 13 October 1952 in an industrial region called "The Black Country". At the age of 16 he began cinema studies at the Institute of broadcast arts in Brussels. While there he experienced the last student upheavals of 1968. He became one of the leaders of an emerging Walloon cinema movement. Thierry Michel became interested in ethnographic work in developing countries, particularly Africa.
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