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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
Cast
Isabelle Huppert
Isaach De Bankolé
Christophe Lambert
Nicolas Duvauchelle.
Directors
Claire Denis.
Screenwriters
Running Time
105 minutes

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White Material
Isabelle Huppert enters the heart of darkness


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Plot
Faced with an escalating civil war in a volatile African state, coffee planter Maria (Isabelle Huppert) must chose between safety and protecting her way of life, a course that proves increasingly dangerous.


Review
White Material
Fussily structured and brusquely concluded, Claire Denis’ return to Africa still offers some fascinating insights into the reprehensible actions that can seemingly be justified by a love of country. As in The Sea Wall, a taciturn Isabelle Huppert clings to her colonial idyll, as she attempts to gather a coffee crop in the face of a civil war that arrives on her doorstep in the form of some child soldiers, a politically ambitious mayor and a wounded rebel. Yet, despite ex-husband Christophe Lambert and slacker son Nicolas Duvauchelle betraying her with respective cool calculation and deranged recklessness, Huppert cuts an unsympathetic figure.


Verdict
Claire Denis' drama is an overly fastidious but insight-filled look at post-colonial Africa.


Reviewed by Patrick Peters

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for White Material
Empire Star Rating

RE: White Material

Another good thing is that in a time where really great female directors are in short supply, or maybe just not getting the spotlight, she is a real front runner.  Think Choclate might be the next Denis I see. ... More

Posted by ElephantBoy at 00:56, 09 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: White Material

I've seen it too but like you guys - aside from Adam - I've yet to write up a review-type thing of it. Needless to say though I really enjoyed it and I felt it was vastly superior to the very good but a bit overrated '35 Shots of Rum.' ... More

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 16:18, 08 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: White Material

Shame that the one Denis film you've seen is my least favourite of hers! I saw White Material, but I've not cobbled a review together yet. I shall continue to whore the link in my signature though, where I reviewed Vendredi Soir! Suffice to say, I think that White Material is her best work to date. ... More

Posted by homersimpson_esq at 00:21, 08 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: White Material

No, but I will have to wait for this, I am sure it will show up at my local picturehouse in a month or so.  I really like Issibelle Hupert so look forward to it.   Sadly I have only seen one Claire Denis film which was the beautiful Vendredi Soir, but as part of my reseach for the Greatest Directors thread I intend to see more. ... More

Posted by ElephantBoy at 00:02, 08 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: White Material

Surely I wasn't the only person to see this this weekend?! Was everyone else at Twilight or something? ... More

Posted by adambatman82 at 22:44, 04 July 2010 | Report This Post


White Material

I saw the film on Friday, and really liked it. Here's my review, taken from my site. Check out s.com/2010/07/04/white-material/ illustrated version of the review. aterial Denis, 2009. FRA Claire Denis stole last year for this viewer, with the utterly sublime, yet surprisingly divisive 35 Rhums (35 Shots Of Rum). It was, without a doubt, the best thing I saw in a cinema in 2009, appearing out of nowhere to draw me in. Denis is a filmmaker who, at the time, I was wholly unfamiliar w... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by adambatman82 at 20:36, 04 July 2010 | Report This Post



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