This film focuses on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in Djibouti.


Claire Denis
6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Denis Lavant ... Galoup
Michel Subor ... Commander Bruno Forestier
Grégoire Colin ... Gilles Sentain
Richard Courcet Richard Courcet ... Legionnaire
Nicolas Duvauchelle ... Legionnaire
Adiatou Massudi Adiatou Massudi ... Legionnaire
Mickael Ravovski Mickael Ravovski ... Legionnaire
Dan Herzberg ... Legionnaire
Giuseppe Molino Giuseppe Molino ... Legionnaire
Gianfranco Poddighe Gianfranco Poddighe ... Legionnaire
Marc Veh Marc Veh ... Legionnaire
Thong Duy Nguyen Thong Duy Nguyen ... Legionnaire
Jean-Yves Vivet Jean-Yves Vivet ... Legionnaire
Bernardo Montet Bernardo Montet ... Legionnaire
Dimitri Tsiapkinis Dimitri Tsiapkinis ... Legionnaire


This film focuses on ex-Foreign Legion officer, Galoup, as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in the Gulf of Djibouti. His existence there was happy, strict and regimented, but the arrival of a promising young recruit, Sentain, plants the seeds of jealousy in Galoup's mind. He feels compelled to stop him from coming to the attention of the commandant who he admires, but who ignores him. Ultimately, his jealousy leads to the destruction of both Sentain and himself. Written by L.H. Wong <>

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Drama | War


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #1,042. See more »


Galoup: Serve the good cause and die.
See more »


Version of Encounter: Billy Budd (1955) See more »


Sous le soleil brûlant d'Afrique
Performed by French Foreign Legion Music Band
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User Reviews

Legio Patria Nostra
4 February 2006 | by macsvens-1See all my reviews

As a 10 year veteran of the Marines during peace time, I loved how this movie captured the often times dull, daily routine of military life. The scenes of the legionaires meticulously ironing their uniforms, training, exercising, were very accurate and brought back a lot of memories. To some, these scenes may seem boring and belabored but I found them mesmerizing and wishing they would last longer. I also feel she somewhat captured the sometimes complicated feelings of love, hate, respect, jealousy, etc. of men living together in a military environment. Robert Ryan did a better job at being hateful in the movie "Billy Budd" than Lavant does here as Galoup. I saw him as more a tragic figure and ended up feeling sorry for him. Sorry because he ruined a life that he loved. The movie was visually beautiful. I was somewhat confused, if not fascinated, by the dance scene at the end. What does that signify?

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French | Italian | Russian

Release Date:

3 May 2000 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Beau travail See more »

Filming Locations:

Obock, Djibouti See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,003, 2 April 2000

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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