Jonathan Littell is a French American-born author and film-maker. He worked many years for humanitarian organisations, mainly in Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan and Democratic Republic of the Congo. In his novel Les Bienveillantes (The Kindly Ones), that won the Prix Goncourt and Prix de l’Académie française 2006 awards, he explores, based on the Nazi experience and background, the questions of institutional violence and mass murder. He continued to investigate on the subject after this novel, through many stories for the French newspapers Le Monde and Revue XXI during the wars in Georgia, then in Chechnya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Ciudad Juárez (Mexico) and in Homs (Syria). Fascinated by pictures, he published a few years later Triptych: Three Studies after Francis Bacon where he analysed the work of the English painter in the light of the great masters that influenced him, the Byzantine art and the history of photography.
Jonathan Littell has also long been a cinema lover. In 2016 he presents at the Cannes Festival his first feature film, Wrong Elements, a documentary on former child soldiers in Uganda. Produced by Le Pacte and screened in French theatres in April 2017, this movie was very well received by critics and was then broadcasted by ARTE and Canal +. In 2018, Jonathan Littell wrote a new novel titled Une vieille histoire (An old story), published by Gallimard.