The Great Man


From Beau Geste to Beau Travail, the French Foreign Legion has been the subject of many a film. With its legendary focus on duty, honor, and brotherhood, this unique body of soldiers, drawn from nationalities all over the world, is the backdrop to Sarah Leonor's finely wrought tale of a contemporary legionnaire and his relationship with his young son. Markov is in full combat gear when we first meet him, out on a mission with another soldier in Afghanistan. His fellow legionnaire is a man named Hamilton. Markov has seen a leopard, and decides to go looking for it. This strange opening is followed by a deceptively simple but tangled tale of a man struggling to survive after having left a war-ravaged country of his own. When his Afghan posting ends, Markhov is reunited in France with his son, a boy he hasn't seen in five years. Yet we soon discover that Markov has another name, and that his colleague Corporal Hamilton is also concealing his identity. Their paths, now free of war, are destined to cross again. As they do, we see a picture of twenty-first century Europe, a place of displacement, emigration, flight from broken countries, and hopes for new life.



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