Guédiguian was born in L'Estaque to the north-west of Marseille, has an accent from the area (I learned from watching an interview on On n'est pas couché), and sets the vast majority of his films either in L'Estaque or the Marseille area. He has his own cooperative company Agat Films and very often his wife Ariane Ascarid and his friends Gérard Méylan and Jean-Pierre Darroussan take lead parts in his films: in fact, the regular viewer has watched them age in the thirty years Guédiguian has been filming.
As a former communist and still to quite far to the left of centre, Guédiguian's films are engagés, often dealing with the problems caused by the post-industrialisation of society: poverty, unemployment, prostitution as a way to makes ends meet, drugs, globalisation in general, gentrification, divide and rule, etc.
In spite of the high quality of his films, Guédiguian is not a high-ranking film maker, his name doesn't easily trip off the tongue of many French speakers as other directors do, and the only film so far to reach audiences of a few million was Marius et Jeannette (1997).
Kantcheff's book covers not only the films separately and at the same time makes comparisons of them collectively, but looks at the role of women as opposed to men in Guédiguian's films, the role of children, the use of nudity, the transmission of knowledge, etc. There are also interviews with the main characters. This is a must for anyone who enjoys good cinema.