Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of Switzerland and attended school in Nyons (Switzerland). His parents divorced in 1948, at which time he returned to Paris to attend the Lycée Rohmer. In 1949 he studied at the Sorbonne to prepare for a degree in ethnology. However, it was during this time that he began attending with François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette, and Éric Rohmer.
In 1950 Godard, with Rivette and Rohmer, founded “Gazette du cinéma”, which published five issues between May and November. He wrote a number of articles for the journal, often using the pseudonym “Hans Lucas”. After Godard worked on and financed two films by Rivette and Rohmer, Godard’s family cut off their financial support in 1951, and he resorted to a Bohemian lifestyle that included stealing food and money when necessary. In January 1952 he began writing film criticism for “Les cahiers du cinéma”. Later that year he traveled to North and South America with his father and attempted to make his first film (of which only a tracking shot from a car was ever accomplished).