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Barry Jenkins’s Adventures in Moviegoing
Directed by Claire Denis • 2009 • France
Starring Isabelle Huppert, Christophe Lambert, Isaach De Bankolé
In WHITE MATERIAL, the great contemporary French filmmaker Claire Denis, known for her restless, intimate dramas, introduces an unforgettably crazed character. Played by a ferocious Isabelle Huppert, Maria is an entitled white woman living in Africa, desperately unwilling to give up her family’s crumbling coffee plantation despite the civil war closing in on her. Created with Denis’ signature full-throttle visual style, which places the viewer at the center of the maelstrom, WHITE MATERIAL is a gripping evocation of the death throes of European colonialism and a fascinating look at a woman lost in her own mind.