Surrealist, briefly Communist, film director and major 20th century poet, he opposed of the forces of law and order in 1968 and supported Angela Davis in 1970.
A member of the Surrealist Group from 1926 to 1929, he became increasinglly interest in film-making with the introduction of sound. For four years from 1932 to 1936 he was the principal organiser of the theatre group called October.
He lived in Rue Vaugirard as a child and went to the primary school next door. in 1907.