With White Material (2009), French director Claire Denis has done an intelligent and provocative job of presenting the human inability to see things as they really are.  Isabelle Huppert’s Maria, a white woman in Africa, is deluded about the danger posed by ferocious civil-war fighters.  Her indolent son (Nicolas Duvauchelle) responds to the conflict by becoming a gun-toting troublemaker—much to his peril.  In the realm they live in, human life could not be cheaper; no one can afford to be blind.

Denis’s film has a nervous energy and a real punch to it.  It’s candid.  If it had an MPAA rating it would probably be NC-17 because it briefly shows an actor’s impressive penis.

(In French with English subtitles)

Français : Isabelle Huppert au festival de Cannes.

Français : Isabelle Huppert au festival de Cannes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)