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From Claire Denis, the incomparable director of BEAU TRAVAIL, L'INTRUS and 35 SHOTS OF RHUM, comes WHITE MATERIAL: a rich and thrilling account of a woman driven to the edge. An official selection of the Venice, Toronto and New York Film Festivals, the film is a riveting exploration of the complexities of racial conflict and the limits of human will. The legendary Isabelle Huppert (LA CEREMONIE, THE PIANO TEACHER, 8 WOMEN), is Maria Vial, a fearless French woman attempting to run her family's coffee plantation in an unnamed African country. Torn violently apart by hate-fueled civil conflict, this unforgiving setting soon turns against the foreign family, declaring them outlaws in their new home. In a brash effort to save her family and livelihood, Maria risks everything, fighting with every shred of her will to buck the rebel forces wrestling for control of local power.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 81
- Fresh: 71
- Rotten: 10
- Average Rating: 7.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: A striking film filled with images that sometimes reveal their full meaning only when their beauty curdles in the chain of signification.
Fresh: An intense, mysterious drama exploring revolution and loss.
Fresh: Simultaneously poetic, dramatic and realistic, "White Material" is an altogether stunning work.
Fresh: It's a disorientingly beautiful movie at times, which promises -- as Denis always does, I think -- that human madness and human love will balance each other out, in the fullness of time.
A powerfully intense tragedy
An onslaught of visceral scenes throughout the film carry this production to its somewhat incomprehensible finish, however this is a telling story of a woman's plight to hold onto what is dear to her. Certainly worth watching as it offers a glimpse into much of the history that has ravaged Africa as far as conflict, coup d' etat's and tyrannical dictators are concerned.
Borders on okay... but does not live up to the hype. All of the characters in this film are deeply flawed. There is no redemptive quality in a single character. When people experience adversity there is usually a shred of justice that lives inside of them. I didn't see that anywhere. Not a great film... certainly not worth the 2 hours I gave up to watch it...
Great story telling coupled with an incredible performance by the luminous Isabelle Huppert - Claire Denis most accessible and powerful film to date - so much great stuff going on that it requires more than one viewing