No Fear, No Die (Denis, 1990)
This is a classic example of a film where I cared little for the subject but because of great direction and characterization, I was impressed by it. The premise of No Fear, No Die is based around men who run/work for an underground cock-fighting ring – definitely not the most enjoyable story. But the film is really about the breakdown of a man. Denis explores this theme in a passionate way, holding nothing back as the industry begins to have more and more of an effect on the man, and he slowly goes off the deep end.
Overall, I’d like this film a lot better if it didn’t feel so much like a warm-up for Denis’ masterpiece – Beau Travail. The themes, voiceovers, and aesthetic style are all very similar, only all feel a bit more amateurish here. If nothing else, though, if this helped her create Beau Travail, that’s enough to make this film worth something. 7.75/10