caught this on our national tv station. I'd only seen one Claire Denis film before (High Life) and loved it, and I was curious about this one for a long time. It's not the easiest film to follow (I had to read the explanation for feral Manuel's behavior on wikipedia), but this is powerful filmmaking that sticks with you. Isabelle Huppert gives a masterclass as a plantation owner stuck in the middle of a civil war.
WHITE MATERIAL is slow - to find out about what really happened. This movie succeed to make me curious and I was able to sit down patiently until the movie ended. To be honest, I'm not a fan of the story. But I was interested with Claire Denis' direction. Denis succeed to create such a tension without any extra efforts. Isabelle Huppert also helped to create the thrilling atmosphere. It's a 105 minutes of real horror
(2.5 stars) It's well-acted but ho-hum. Nothing new or inventive here. Well directed by Denis, but it's just a boring bit of subject matter. Seen too many like this and they all seem long and dull. There's merit to be had here, and some will argue the brilliance of this incredibly mediocre material. But it's just a middle-of-the-road flick for me. Not something I will ever have interest in watching again. *yawn*
A fine drama from Claire Denis that boasts one of many great performances from the always-superb Isabelle Huppert, this looks at life in a troubled (unspecified) African country, and the central French couple who have very different ideas on whether to stay or just give up everything and escape, a choice many others don't have.
A horror story in a parched, broken country drying out what little humanity remains. Denis captures and backs up the subtleties between her characters's relationships and backs them up with a vibrancy reflective of the narrative turmoil. The unexplained specifics of the political and social/familial situation also reflect Huppert's inability to see what's going on around her. Oblivious to the world outside her own.
There is no political context or wider message about the African continent in this drama about warring factions in an unnamed country. Instead we just see chaos, violence and obsession. The always incredible Huppert plays a coffee plantation owner who is in complete denial about the worsening bloodshed around her, bordering on insanity. Bold and lyrical filmmaking from Denis.
Much of Claire Denis' films rely on an instinctual engagement with the imagery and for some reason this didn't click with me. It is an intriguing story, but the son's narrative feels like an over-escalation and in some ways undercuts the poignancy of the other smaller parts. There is much to enjoy here, but it didn't strike me.
Should they leave? When’s the best time? Can they leave? Who can they count on? Who’s dangerous to others? Who can they trust? Should they trust themselves? What matters most? Saving their lives? But what are their lives made of? A slow paced and brilliantly edited film that rises many questions and brings delicate answers.
I found myself watching and asking when Maria was going to come to the conclusion that enough was enough while the story played out in the film. The film exposed to the economy of this region of Africa, and culture throughout this film. The cinematography, acting, and editing kept me engaged as the story unraveled. Glad to have to be introduced to Clare Denis's work.