No Fear, No Die
Claire Denis’s rarely screened second feature is a radically physical cinematic journey into the shadowy (under)world of illegal cockfighting.
Isaach De Bankole and Alex Descas star as Dah and Jocelyn, two immigrants (from Benin and French Antilles, respectively) living on the outskirts of Paris who earn money from cockfights. The escalating violence of the bouts—at the encouragement of the white owner of the restaurant (Jean-Claude Brialy) in whose basement the fights are held—takes its toll on the pair, and Jocelyn dreams of a life outside the brutal environment of feathered pugilism.
Drawing inspiration from the writings of Frantz Fanon, the ruggedly unsentimental and psychologically evocative No Fear No Die is a forceful examination of the lives of immigrants in France and of the psychic toll of the violence imposed by colonizers upon the colonized.