Claude Jutra (Claude Jutras)
BiographyMontréal, Québec, Canada
He finished his medical studies at the age of 22 to please his parents, but he was already developing an attraction to the visual arts and to cinema. As a teenager, he had made two shorts with Michel Brault. In 1953, he wrote a television script. He joined the Office national du film du Canada (National Film Board) in 1954. After his first feature film was made in 1958, he went to France, where he worked with both François Truffaut and Jean Rouch. In the 1960s, he became involved in the 'cinema direct' movement, once again back in Quebec. Read more... directed Mon oncle Antoine (1971), nearly unanimously believed to be his best work, as well as one of the greatest works of the Canadian cinema. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Jutra worked mostly in Toronto, where funding was easier come by. He began to suffer from a severe case of early-onset Alzheimer's and, given his knowledge of the condition due to his medical training, chose to take his own life. Just as the character he created in À tout prendre (1963), Jutra drowned himself in the freezing waters of the St. Lawrence River. His body was not recovered until the following spring.