Courtisane festival, notes on cinema, 23nd edition, 27 - 31 March 2024
Claire Denis's undisputed masterpiece was created at the request of ARTE to contribute to the series Terres étrangères. The theme of the film led her to the work of Herman Melville, firstly his novel Billy Budd, Sailor and then to Benjamin Britten's opera of the same name, and, on the other hand, to the idea of working around the French Foreign Legion in Djibouti ("For me, Africa is like the sea that Melville so dearly missed,” Denis said). The close collaboration with co-writer Jean-Pol Fargeaus, choreographer Bernardo Montet and actor Denis Lavant resulted in a miraculous “poetic rumination that pointedly doesn’t discriminate between major and minor events, intertwining both into a kind of endless magical tapestry” (Jonathan Rosenbaum).
French spoken with French subtitles