Beau Travail

1hr 32mins
Directed by
Claire Denis
Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin

Through our Virtual Screening Room, you can rent films curated by the Coolidge team, while helping to support the Coolidge during this unprecedented time.

With her ravishingly sensual take on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, Claire Denis firmly established herself as one of the great visual tone poets of our time. Amid the azure waters and sunbaked desert landscapes of Djibouti, a French Foreign Legion sergeant (Denis Lavant) sows the seeds of his own ruin as his obsession with a striking young recruit (Grégoire Colin) plays out to the thunderous, operatic strains of Benjamin Britten. Denis and cinematographer Agnès Godard fold military and masculine codes of honor, colonialism’s legacy, destructive jealousy, and repressed desire into shimmering, hypnotic images that ultimately explode in one of the most startling and unforgettable endings in all of modern cinema.

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Plus, on Thursday, September 10, film critic and historian Imogen Sara Smith will lead our virtual Coolidge Education seminar on the film. Learn more and register here.

Every new release we offer will be available through the individual distributor's websites and streaming services. You'll be taken to their websites to purchase and watch the film, but a portion of your ticket will help support the Coolidge. Having technical issues? Visit our FAQ page here.

Review Text

My favorite film by my favorite filmmaker.

Review Author
Barry Jenkins
Review Text

Never for one moment does this shimmering, simmering emotional desert storm of a film relax its grip on your senses.

Review Author
Peter Bradshaw
Review Publication
The Guardian
Review Text

An achingly beautiful meditation on work, honor, pleasure, and betrayal.

Review Author
Entertainment Weekly