IMDb > Beau Travail (1999)
Beau travail
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Beau Travail (1999) More at IMDbPro »Beau travail (original title)

Photos (See all 14 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.2/10   4,437 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 45% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Beau Travail on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 May 2000 (France) See more »
This film focuses on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in Africa. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
6 wins & 8 nominations See more »
(94 articles)
The Auteur Film Festival – Line-up Announced
 (From Blogomatic3000. 3 March 2015, 6:17 AM, PST)

Notebook's 7th Writers Poll: Fantasy Double Features of 2014
 (From MUBI. 5 January 2015, 10:08 AM, PST)

Enduring Paradise: Yorgos Lanthimos’ "Dogtooth"
 (From MUBI. 8 December 2014, 8:13 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Enigmatic. See more (67 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Claire Denis 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Claire Denis  writer
Jean-Pol Fargeau  writer
Herman Melville  story "Billy Budd, Sailor"

Produced by
Patrick Grandperret .... producer
Jérôme Minet .... executive producer
Eric Zaouali .... line producer
Original Music by
Charles Henri de Pierrefeu 
Eran Zur  (as Eran Tzur)
Cinematography by
Agnès Godard 
Film Editing by
Nelly Quettier 
Casting by
Nicolas Lublin 
Production Design by
Arnaud de Moleron 
Costume Design by
Judy Shrewsbury 
Makeup Department
Danièle Vuarin .... makeup artist
Production Management
Salem Brahimi .... unit production manager
Eric Zaouali .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jean-Paul Allegre .... assistant director
Nicolas Conti .... trainee assistant director
Ali Mohammed Hamadou .... assistant director: Djibouti
Murielle Iris .... assistant director
Julien Louvret .... trainee assistant director
Moussah Hassan Moussah .... assistant director
Flore Rougier .... second assistant director
Art Department
Stéphane Taillasson .... assistant decorator
Sound Department
Pascal Chauvin .... foley artist
Pascal Dedeye .... foley artist
Dominique Gaborieau .... sound re-recording mixer
Jean-Paul Mugel .... sound
Yves-Marie Omnes .... boom operator
Nathalie Vidal .... sound engineer
Jean-Christophe Winding .... sound editor (as Christophe Winding)
Visual Effects by
Ronan Broudin .... digital compositor
Camera and Electrical Department
Julien Bureau .... assistant camera
Gérard Delayat .... key grip
Patrick Grandperret .... underwater camera operator
Olivier Regent .... head electrician
Thérèse Somano .... assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Christine Keusch .... costumer
Zara .... seamstress
Editorial Department
Emmanuelle Pencalet .... assistant editor
Music Department
Tarkan .... composer: song "Simarik"
Transportation Department
Moumin Daoud Ali .... driver
Other crew
Niaz Ziad Ibrahim .... production assistant: Djibouti
Bernardo Montet .... choreographer
Bruno Mérieux .... administrator: Marseille
Danielle Vaugon .... production coordinator
Béatrice Zanetti .... production administrator

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Beau travail" - France (original title)
"Good Work" - Europe (English title)
See more »
92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Chile:14 | France:U | Hong Kong:III | Iceland:L | Singapore:PG (cut) | Singapore:NC-16 (re-rating) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Michel Subor previously played Bruno Forestier 37 years earlier in Godard's Le Petit Soldat (1963).See more »
Galoup:[subtitled version] Maybe freedom begins with remorse. Maybe freedom begins with remorse. I heard that somewhere.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Billy Budd (1980) (TV)See more »
AdiaSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
23 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
Enigmatic., 2 August 2000
Author: Alice Liddel ( from dublin, ireland

Like all Claire Denis films, 'Beau Travail' demands constant vigilance and flexibility, never exactly forswearing narrative - there IS a plot here - but concentrating less on its mechanics than on the bits in between, the everyday rituals normally excised from the screen, a precise meditation on the landscape in which it is set, a rhythmic treatment of the titled beau travail, all seemingly irrelevant to the narrative, but making it inevitable, a linear narrative in a world of endless, pointless circles.

Like 'Once Upon A Time In America', 'Travail' opens with a sequence of seemingly random, unconnected sequences eventually bound together in an overpowering organising consciousness. A shot of a silhouetted mural of soldiers marching over craggy rocks, which look like waves, an appropriately Melvillean image, with Foreign Legion chants blared over them. The highly stylised rendering of a nightclub, which seems tiny, austere, minimally decorated, with lighting reflecting the rhythm of the music, and the soldiers between the local African women, their movements notably stilted, ritualised. The officer seated alone. The vast African landscape, a coastal desert, with abandoned phallic tanks, site of a military exercise, a group of topless men in rigid poses against the immemorial sand and sea, classical heroes. An unseen hand writing. A train travelling through the landscape as we follow someone's view out the window. The same point of view after the train has moved.

These images do have an independent function. They begin a pattern of dualities that are continued and complicated throughout the film leading to the eventual climax, always inscrutably observed by a third strand, Forestier, former informer turned commandant - water/desert; soldiers/locals; men/women; landscape/human; indoors/outdoors; play/work etc. But this is an army, and these disparate elements must be controlled, as they are, by Galoup, the sergeant. As the film opens, he embodies civilisation - he writes while others cannot communicate; he is the subject who sees, interprets, explains, while everyone else is an object in his narrative; he wears clothes while his soldiers go round naked; he is an all-seeing God who can decide men's fate, while these men are unthinking robots, sleepwalking through time-honoured rites.

The irony is that, because of all this, Galoup, the defender of discipline and convention, is the film's real outsider, not the mysterious Russian he seeks to expel, a man who learns another language to fit in, who quickly becomes one of the boys, who will defend his friends at the risk of his own death.

Is this why Galoup abhors him, his humanity in this mechanistic unit of marital discipline? Unlikely; Galoup is the only 'human' character in the film, it's difficult to tell individual soldiers, even Sentain. After all, that 's what the Foreign Legion, in popular terms anyway, is all about: a refuge for the hunted, somewhere to hide your identity and past, become part of an anonymous mass.

For me, though, there is something missing. For all the cool gazing on the masculine body, the absorbed interest in these very physical rituals, in the feminising of their military discipline (eg ironing; repeating the same tasks day in, day out, like housewives); there is a lack of the homoerotic charge lurching through Melville and Britten. The gaze of the camera is, of course, Galoup's, the narrative a visualising of what he writes; and when he lies on the bed with his gun near the end, we can't tell whether the gesture will be onanistic or suicidal. The rushed, hallucinatory climax, full of Leonesque stand-offs and ellipses, are framed by a shot of Galoup asleep, and a blazing white light when he awakes, as if he, like Noodles, has dreamed the whole thing, has sublimated his homosexuality into a murderous (but consummated) narrative, reduced vast geographical terrain (including three volcanoes whose explosive potential mirrors his own suppressed desire) to a narrow site for a private rite, a self-reflecting dance in an empty nightclub.

And how cool is it that the real president of Djibouti is called Ismael!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (67 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Beau Travail (1999)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Would a storyline have made it better? drjukebox
I find it funny... jambles
Blown away heystevesteinberg
Galoup's Dance commanderbigpants
Nude JJ373
Does anyone know the song? filmdrift
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Munich Killer Kid The English Patient The Cross of Iron Downfall
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb France section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.