Beau Travail
(Good Work)

Screening on Film
Directed by Claire Denis.
With Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin.
France, 1999, 35mm, color, 90 min.
French with English subtitles.

In this loose adaptation of Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Claire Denis takes a captivating look at the rituals of life in the French Foreign Legion, an army with no real purpose anymore. Denis Lavant stars as Galoup, a mercenary who remains emotionally isolated from the men with whom he rigorously trains.  His quiet existence is disrupted by the arrival of a promising recruit who draws the attention of the troop's commanding officer. Focusing on the beauty of the human form and with a clear nod to Riefenstahl's Olympia, Denis presents life in the barren North African landscape (familiar territory for the director, who was raised on the continent) with haunting intensity.

Part of film series

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Contemporary French Cinema

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Claire Denis,
a Stranger Cinema