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French filmmaker and novelist Pierre Schoendoerffer dies at 83


Award-winning French filmmaker and novelist Pierre Schoendoerffer has died in Paris, his family said on Wednesday. Schoendoerffer was also a well-known war reporter, covering conflicts in Vietnam and Algeria. He was 83 years old.


Schoendoerffer launched his career with the French military film service, documenting the war in Indochina. Following the 1954 defeat of French forces at Dien Bien Phu, he was held as a prisoner of war for four months.

He subsequently left the military but stayed on in Vietnam as a reporter for numerous French and US publications, including Paris Match and Time.

After 1955, Schoendoerffer continued as a correspondent, filmmaker and writer, covering events in Vietnam and the Algerian War.

His most famous works in France charted the war in Indochina, and “Le Crabe-Tambour” won three Cesar film awards in 1977.

Schoendoerffer was born in 1928 in Chamalieres, a town in the centre of France. He had three children, including filmmaker Frederic Schoendoerffer.

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