Directed by Claire Denis, and scripted by Denis and Jean-Pol Fargeau around a version of Herman Melville’s novella Billy Budd, Beau Travail (1999) offers a riveting, compelling and arguably ‘woman-ist’ perspective on male identity and its unwelcome changes. Set in an isolated French Foreign Legion outpost in Djibouti, Somalia, there is at times a dream-like quality to the action which offers ‘one of cinema’s most compelling and original meditations on the need for, and simultaneous resistance to, intimacy’. (McGill)
‘Movement, gesture and glance tend to reveal at least as much as dialogue in the films of Claire Denis. Nowhere else in her work does she push this visual language as far as in Beau Travail, a near-ballet of a film that’s at least as much a work of choreography as of verbal storytelling’. (McGill)
How do men care for each other in an atmosphere that privileges bravado and competitiveness, and that glorifies violence and war? What do men do with their woundedness? These dilemmas go back a long way, but with the rise of women (#MeToo, TimesUp), men’s in-vulnerability is in question as never before.
After a short introduction, Beau Travail will be screened after which our panel and audience will explore a number of themes arising from the film and more general perceptions of the current attitudes towards male identify, for example:
· What do we mean by 'a crisis of male identity'? There is no blueprint from what it is to be male.
· What are the causes and consequences of the perceived crisis? What actions-individual and societal-might address the crisis?
· The subjective experience of being a man; ‘your experience is your experience’.
Panel members: Mary MacCallum Sullivan and Professor John MacInnes, University of Edinburgh
Who should attend? This event is open to everyone.
While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Beau Travail film screening & panel discussion Is Male Identity in Crisis? are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.
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