White Material. 2009. France. Directed by Claire Denis. Screenplay by Claire Denis, Marie N’Diaye, with Lucie Borleteau. With Isabelle Huppert, Christopher Lambert, Isaach De Bankolé. 35mm. In French; English subtitles. 106 min.
Maria Vial may be small of stature, but when soldiers tell her to evacuate her beloved coffee farm, she solidly holds her ground. In this unnamed African country, war between colonialists and rebels swirls around Maria, but she remains resolute even when a gun is pointed at her. Director Denis, who grew up in French colonial Africa, does not make a political statement, but rather dives deep into memory and the inviolability of home.