Disco Boy

Disco Boy

Aleksei arrives in Paris to join the Foreign Legion, ready to do anything in order to obtain the promised passport. One day he intervenes on the Niger River Delta, where Jomo is fighting oil multinationals that threaten life in his village. As Aleksei looks for a new family in the Legion, Jomo fancies himself a dancer, a disco boy.


“Giacomo Abbruzzese’s debut feature is a hazily seductive, frequently dreamlike study of life in the French Foreign Legion, fixated on masculine bodies in synchronized and sometimes violently clashing motion. It is also called Disco Boy. You almost certainly wouldn’t choose that subject, tone and title for a film if you didn’t want viewers’ minds to immediately wander to Beau Travail, Claire Denis’ seminal Foreign Legion cine-ballet, with its climactic solo number set to a thumping Eurodance classic; even if you somehow made that error, you wouldn’t compound it with electro-scored terpsichorean interludes of your own. Choosing homage this direct for a first feature is a brazen move, but notwithstanding its openly derivative qualities, ‘Disco Boy’ doesn’t want for boldness or surprise – Abbruzzese’s hot, fluxional command of sound and image keeps us curious.”

Guy Lodge1


“Any movie about the French Foreign Legion might find itself being compared to Claire Denis’ classic Beau Travail with its ambiguous reverence for men’s bodies; perhaps Abbruzzese has taken something from Denis, but perhaps also from Gaspar Noé or Nicolas Winding Refn in the sense of confrontational spectacle and narcosis. The electronic score by Vitalic AKA Pascal Arbez-Nicolas) throbs in its own incantatory trance and Hélène Louvart’s cinematography is a thing of beauty. It’s quite a trip.”

Peter Bradshaw2


“This is a rain-streaked film of rich, burnished colours, psychedelic night-vision sequences and atmospheric power that takes the unfamiliarity and fight-or-flight danger of strange territory as a cue for heightened, sensorial surrealism. It seems, in the vein of Apocalypse Now (1979), that the minds of soldiers can do little else than become unhinged on their jungle mission. Villages blaze and oil refinery chimneys blare in a vision of multinational greed and environmental decimation.”

Carmen Gray3

UPDATED ON 06.06.2023