in about 100 words or less
France 90m, Colour
Director: Claire Denis; Cast: Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin, Richard Courcet, Nicolas Duvauchelle
Beau Travail is a bleak but beautifully filmed documentary-styled drama set in the Djibouti desert among a company of men from the French Foreign Legion. Based on Billy Budd, Herman Melville’s 1888 novella, but transplanted to North Africa, Master Sergeant Galoup recalls his interactions with a popular new recruit with whom he had deeply mixed personal feelings. His actions, which eventually lead him toward his court-martial, are the basis for this intensely personal character study and exposition of military life (Klaus Ming March 2016).