White Material, a complex depiction of a troubled continent, sees Claire Denis, one of the most significant filmmakers working today, team up with one of cinema's greatest actresses: Isabelle Huppert.
Denis returns to Africa, the setting of her acclaimed 1988 debut film Chocolat, to weave a spellbinding tale about a French family (including their formidable matriarch Maria, played by Huppert) that have maintained a coffee plantation in Africa for two generations. As the country is torn apart by civil war, the family is told time and time again to evacuate for their safety. As tensions and dangers escalate, the film becomes an intense and open-ended character study of Maria as she obstinately refuses to leave. (102 mins., 35mm)
The program begins with the striking short film Atlantiques by Mati Diop (seen last year on our screens in her role as the daughter in Claire Denis' 35 Shots of Rum), which won the Tiger Award for best short film at the 2010 Rotterdam Film Festival. By nightfall, around a campfire, a young man from Dakar tells his friends about his clandestine odyssey to smuggle himself across the sea in search of a better life. (11 mins., video)
$5 senior citizens
$7 general public