Director : Claire Denis
Country : France
Release Date : 1999
Duration : 90 mins
Language : French, Italian and Russian
Subtitles : Yes
In this military drama, Galoup (Denis Lavant) is an officer at a French Foreign Legion outpost in the Gulf of Dijbouti, where he enjoys a close relationship with the Commanding Officer (Michel Subor) and works with a team of fit young men who work hard all day and play hard all night. When a new recruit, Sentain (Gregoire Colin), joins the troops, Galoup believes that he upsets the delicate balance between the CO and the other men. Sentain is well-liked by his comrades for his good humour and selfless nature, and his virtues make him the CO’s new favourite. Galoup is jealous of the attention Sentain receives, and he devises a plan to discredit Sentain in the eyes of the other men and have him drummed out of the service. Loosely based on Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville and featuring music from Benjamin Britten’s opera.
“So tactile in its cinematography, inventive in its camera placement, and sensuous in its editing that the purposefully oblique and languid narrative is all but eclipsed.” (J Hoberman – Village Voice)