In his day, René Moreau was a highly renowned cameraman, working with some of the great names of French cinema, including Julien Duvivier (Les Cinq gentlemen maudits – 1931) and Jean Bertin (Vocation – 1928). But alongside these fiction films, he also had a particular commitment to the expedition film genre.
More than 60 of his films, made between 1921 (A travers le Tyrol) and 1936 (Le vieux Montmartre) have been restored by the CNC. In film circles generally, he is particularly remembered for A l’assaut des cimes (1925) which is about mountaineering expeditions on Mont Blanc. However, from the point of view of ethnographic film-making, he is best known for the films that he shot in 1929-31, during an expedition to Central Africa and the Cameroon that he made in the company of the journalist-explorer, Jean d’Esme.