From coal mines to prisons, from Brazil and the Maghreb to black Africa, Thierry Michel has always denounced people's distress and shared their revolts, sometimes in a mixture of fiction and reality. Born on 13 October 1952 in Charleroi in Belgium in an industrial region known as "Black Country", Thierry Michel began studying at the Institut des Arts de Diffusion in Brussels at age 16.
In 1976, he started working at the Belgian television where he made numerous reports around the world. He then went on to filmmaking. He directed two feature-length fiction films, Hiver 60 which dealt with his country's political situation and Issue de secours, a very personal and poetic piece.
Yet his oeuvre is especially known for his many documentaries, which have received international recognition and awards and have been shown around the world. Among them are Gosses de Rio; Zaïre, le cycle du serpent; Donka, X-Ray of an African Hospital; Mobutu, King of Zaïre; Iran : Veiled Appearances and Congo River.