Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this drama directed and co-written by Claire Denis, Isabelle Huppert plays Maria, a white French expatriate living in an African nation that has fallen into political chaos. Maria owns a coffee plantation, and regards her property as her personal domain; she's not about to give up her land, though her stubborn attitude prevents her from admitting that she's putting those close to her in danger, or even acknowledging the gravity of her situation. Maria has two children with her former husband, André (Christopher Lambert), a young adopted boy and dissatisfied twentysomething Manuel (Nicolas Duvauchelle). André is deeply concerned for the safety of Maria and their sons, and has made plans for her and the boys to flee to Europe, but Maria insists that the military will protect her and the others in the area, a belief that seems to be fueled by arrogance rather than fact. White Material received its North American premiere at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.
Africa, child-soldier, coffee, danger, ex-husband, plantation