72 – Beau Travail (1999)


Director: Claire Denis Starring: Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin Running time: 94 mins

Subject: Mood of impending doom offset by natural beauty as French legionnaires train in the dreamy Gulf of Djibouti.  Close-ups of toned male flesh makes this a love letter to military athleticism while motivation for the strange vendetta which informs the lead character’s downfall remains submerged. Plot driven, this is not.

Like: Full Metal Jacket on sea.

Core truth: Men can drown without ever leaving the shore


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