White Material
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A maddening movie that gives the viewer plenty to think about, but little to care about."
‑ William Goss, Film.com
"A poignant, haunting study of well-intentioned but doomed folly, embodied by a heroine whose bravery renders her blind to the world that is crumbling around her."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"Unsentimental, brutal, and beautiful, (the film) is a harrowing experience."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"If you think you're going to get a simple anti-imperialism message from French director Claire Denis, you've got about seven other things coming. Her movies defy expectations all the way down the line."
‑ Dave White, Movies.com
"Some will find White Material's puzzlements evocative. Others -- including yours truly -- will leave irritated and unfulfilled."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"White Material is unhurried in its storytelling but unshakable in its impact."
‑ Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"It's one of those movies where questions like "Why didn't they do that?" or "Wait, what's their relationship?" keep popping up. And for the most part, those questions never get answered."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"a difficult film, and one that sticks with you, pestering you with its unresolved tensions"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"Claire Denis' harrowing "White Material" centers on a family that feels inextricably bound to a country that does not want them anymore."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Vial is presented as a complex character who feels she's been backed against a wall, and on the one hand we can see where she's coming from, but on the other hand we might think she's just nuts."
‑ Jeffrey Chen, Window to the Movies
"A thoughtful, if sometimes frustrating, tale of a Frenchwoman caught in the middle of a civil war in an unidentified African country."
‑ Cary Darling, Dallas Morning News
"This haunting drama by Claire Denis burns with a mute fear and rage at the ongoing atrocities in central Africa."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"Director Claire Denis is known for her vivid snapshots of contemporary culture and White Material is shot with an immediacy that's hard to ignore."
‑ Eric Melin, Scene-Stealers.com
"The ending is a cop-out, and the viewer is left unfulfilled. The main reason to buy a ticket is for Huppert's mesmerizing performance. She is one of France's greatest actresses."
‑ Keith Cohen, Entertainment Spectrum
"While we get the idea Denis knows what she's doing with the metaphor of racial recompense in her movie, whether or not she "gets" the idea of fleshy, full-bodied characters grounded in a sense of viewer compassion is still up in the air."
‑ Frank Wilkins, Frank's Reel Reviews
More reviews for White Material on Rotten Tomatoes

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