Inspired by Herman Melville's 'Billy Budd', filmmaker Claire Denis' 'Beau Travail' is a stunning combination of literature, music and dance that explores the near-mythical world of the French Foreign Legion. Dennis Lavant stars as Galoup, a sergeant-major whose position and power are threatened when the bravery and heroism of new recruit Sentain (Gregoire Colin) attracts the attention of the platoon's commandant (Michel Subor). Enraged, Galoup plots Sentain's downfall, a doomed course of action that leads to his own undoing. Director Denis creates a dark mounting tension that underlies the exquisite cinematography of Agnes Godard, whose stark visual style contrasts vividly with the graceful training rituals of the sculpted young soldiers.
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