Directed by: Claire Denis
Countries & Regions: Cameroon, France
Length: 100 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 6 December 2010
Cat No: ART500DVD
Screen ratio 1:1.78
Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0
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Cast: Isaach De Bankole , Christopher Lambert , Isabelle Huppert , Michel Subor , Ali Barkai , Nicolas Duvauchelle , William Nadylam , Adele Ado , Daniel Tchangang , Jean-Marie Ahanda , Patrice Eya , Serge Mong
Drama centred around a family of white French settlers in Africa. When coffee plantation owner Henri Vial (Michel Subor), his son Andre... Read More
One of 2010’s most acclaimed dramas, White Material unfolds around a coffee plantation in an unnamed African state, overseen by Maria Vial (Isabelle Huppert).
With civil war breaking out and her ex-husband threatening to sell up, Maria strives to keep the business running, ignoring the peacekeepers’ advice to leave before the rebels arrive. There’s already been one prominent arrival: The Boxer (Isaach de Bankolé), a local hero stalling for time to recover from a bullet to the gut.
Claire Denis’ filmmaking, sensory and experiential, concerns itself less with narrative propulsion than with what it is to be in particular places at particular times. Her sensibility is wholly cinematic: one late sequence – as the workers settle in on the ranch as night falls, aware they may face the possibility of violent death before dawn – could, subtitles aside, be lifted wholesale from any Western.
Neither slandering nor exoticising the continent, Denis views Africa less as heart of darkness than a home like any other. The question this searching and engrossing film poses is: whose home?