White Material

Rated NR 105 minutes 2010

For her thematic return to the French colonial West Africa of her youth (and the scene of her 1988 film Chocolat), filmmaker Claire Denis puts actor Isabelle Huppert through an endurance course as the harried owner of a coffee plantation. The government is collapsing, rebels are driving out white settlers, workers are fleeing, her grown son (Nicolas Duvauchelle) has come unglued mentally, and in the midst of this Mme. Vial must try to round up men to harvest and process the coffee crop. A typical Huppert tour de force performance – she goes to extraordinary lengths almost every time out. Director Denis keeps the action terse and urgent, with the odd detail leaping out as if to say: this is the end of an era. Denis wrote the scenario with Marie N’Diaye and Lucie Borleteau. (106 min.)

Film Credits

Director: Claire Denis

Producer: Pascal Caucheteux

Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Isaach De Bankolé, Christopher Lambert, Nicolas Duvauchelle, William Nadylam, Adèle Ado, Ali Barkai, Daniel Tchangang and Michel Subor


White Material

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