Henri Charrière was born in 1906. He grew up in the south of France where his father was the master of a village school. After completing his military service in the navy, Charrière moved to Paris. His acquired nickname "Papillon" soon became a respected one in the underworld.At the age of twenty-five Charrière was sentenced to imprisonment for life without a hope of remission - this for a murder he did not commit. He was transported to the penal settlements of French Guiana. His astonishing escapes became material for a self-biography and the film Papillon (1973). He died in 1973 after living as a free man for years in Venezuela.