Proudly wearing its Beau Travail influence on its sleeve, Disco Boy explores the identity and trauma of soldiers whose bodies clash in combat – and converge again, at least in spirit and soul, through the catharsis of dance. The always magnetic Franz Rogowski is Aleksei, a Belarusian migrant with vive la France dreams, who quickly makes rank in the Foreign Legion as a path towards citizenship. Dispatched to oil-rich Niger Delta, where militia are fighting colonial exploitation, Aleksei kills out of instinct and is haunted by his actions back in France, where nightclubs are the escape of choice. Moody and unpredictable, with trance-like images and startling use of infrared light, this is a film bursting with poetic intensity.
View the full NZIFF 2023 programme at nziff.co.nz.