Note: Unfortunately, the screenings of Beau Travail is cancelled due to technical complications. The screenings will be replaced by High Life (2018), the newest feature from Claire Denis. Read more about the film at https://kosmorama.no/en/program/high-life
Beau Travail opens with a shot of the shadows of a troop of French soldiers in Djibouti east in Africa. They’re standing completely still under the burning sun to practice how to endure the scorching heat. The scene we witness is a memory belonging to sergeant Galoup, who’s writing a memoir from his time in the French Foreign Legion. We also witness several other military practices, such as combat training where the soldiers’ bodies are moving as in a ballet routine.
Galoup is a respected officer, but he envies the close bond between his commander and the men of the troop. When a soldier named Santain joins the group, with beauty and social skills that both attracts and provokes Galoup, his resentment grows.
Beau Travail is director Claire Denis’ fifth feature, and it became her definite breakthrough. The film was critically acclaimed as an astoundingly original, poetic and challenging work of art. Since then, it’s gained a position as one of the very best examples of European filmmaking from the last couple of decades.