A young French woman returns to the vast silence of West Africa to contemplate her childhood days in a colonial outpost in Cameroon. Her strongest memories are of the family's houseboy, ... See full summary »
Isaach De Bankolé,
Beautiful Daiga has emigrated from Lithuania to Paris and is looking for a place to stay and work. Theo is a struggling musician, and his brother Camille - a transvestite dancer. One of ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Beau Travail ("Good Work") is loosely based on Herman Melville's classic novella Billy Budd. Billy Budd was a tragedy brought about partly by the strictures of military discipline, but was really a story of masculinity and power; a powerful psychological study of three characters and personalities unable to coexist without damaging or destroying each other.
French director Claire Denis transfers the story from the eighteenth century British navy to a unit of the French Foreign Legion in an African outpost. The exotic backdrop of the Foreign legion - with its all-male bonding and strict discipline - is inspired. Having the film narrated by Galoup, the film's Claggart character, is not. Claggart was fascinating to Melville because he could discern no real reason for his hatred of Budd; it was ascribed to his nature and essentially unfathomable. Denis and the actor playing Galoup (Denis Lavant) seem to lack insight into his motives as well, so he's a poor choice to carry the story. Equally frustrating is Denis' lack of focus on Sentain (Gregoire Colin), the charismatic Budd who's supposed to drive the action. Instead, there's a lot of empty posing in the desert. The climax - the first real incident in an overlong film - is over too quickly to be satisfying.
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