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Redefining Rebellion

Beau Travail

Hypnotic images, mutiny and queer desire combine in Denis’ sensual masterpiece.

Image from Beau Travail

France 1999
Dir Claire Deni
With Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin
93min
Digital
English subtitles
Certificate 15

Denis’ sensual queer update of Herman Melville’s unfinished tale of mutiny, Billy Budd, Sailor, deconstructs colonialism, masculinity and obsession, and plays out to hypnotic images of the French Foreign Legion photographed against the shimmering Djibouti waters and sands to the sounds of Britten’s opera. This new 4K digital restoration was supervised by cinematographer Agnès Godard and approved by Denis.

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