Flashback: Beau travail (1999)

Whatever else is implied by Beau Travail’s exhilarating and befuddling final sequence, in which Galoup dances alone in a mirrored nightclub to Corona’s ‘Rhythm of the Night’, it certainly points at a final bid for personal freedom – if one that’s ironically characterised by a cheesy club anthem and a mannered, self-regarding routine. Perhaps Galoup is dead (we’ve seen him stretched on his bed, revolver nearby; going over his notes might have been a way of setting his house in order pre-suicide). Perhaps, in imagining himself back at the nightclub in Djibouti, he has found release in recognising his own physical grace, instead of obsessing over that of Sentain: freedom through narcissism.

-- Hannah McGill, Sight & Sound