IMDb > White Material (2009)
White Material
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White Material (2009) More at IMDbPro »

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White Material -- A drama set in an unnamed African country and centered on a French plantation owner caught in the midst of a civil war.


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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Claire Denis (scenario) and
Marie N'Diaye (scenario) ...
View company contact information for White Material on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 March 2010 (France) See more »
In the African heat, one woman stands alone
Denis revisits Africa, this time exploring a place rife with civil and racial conflict. A white French... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 6 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
At times interesting and shocking, but it could have been better... See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Claire Denis 
Writing credits
Claire Denis (scenario) and
Marie N'Diaye (scenario)

Lucie Borleteau  collaboration

Produced by
Pascal Caucheteux .... producer
Original Music by
Stuart Staples 
Cinematography by
Yves Cape 
Film Editing by
Guy Lecorne 
Casting by
Richard Rousseau 
Production Design by
Abiassi Saint-Père 
Costume Design by
Judy Shrewsbury 
Makeup Department
Pierre Olivier Persin .... special makeup effects artist
Antonella Prestigiacomo .... key hair stylist
Production Management
Albert Blasius .... production manager
Laurencina Lam .... post-production manager
Thibault Mattei .... unit production manager
Monica Taverna .... unit manager
Isabelle Tillou .... production manager
Olivier Torion .... assistant unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lucie Borleteau .... assistant director
Gervais Djimeli Lekpa .... third assistant director
Anaïs Minet .... second assistant director
Sound Department
Sandie Bompar .... dialogue editor
Fred Mays .... post-synchronisation
Michel Monier .... sound consultant: dolby
Jean-Paul Mugel .... sound
Josefina Rodríguez .... sound editor
Jean-Alexandre Villemer .... sound recordist
Christophe Vingtrinier .... sound re-recording mixer
Christophe Winding .... sound
Visual Effects by
Elodie Glain .... visual effects coordinator
Jean-Francois Theault .... digital compositor
Olivier Veau .... digital compositor
Aurélie Villard .... digital artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Stéphane Bourgoin .... chief electrician: re-shoots
Maxime Cointe .... first assistant camera
Mathieu Dequirot .... electrician: re-shoots
Martin Levent .... second assistant camera
Stéphane Thiry .... key grip
Bruno Verstraete .... gaffer
Sylvain Zambelli .... first assistant camera: re-shoots
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bernadette Beaudet .... costumer
Claire Tong .... costumer
Editorial Department
Sandie Bompar .... assistant editor
Other crew
Stéphane Boulay .... travelling car
Frédéric Cauvy .... weapons
Antonio Cides .... car preparer
Jean-Jacques Domingues .... car preparer
Jean-Benoit Guillon .... car preparer
Pierre-Axel Vuillaume-Prézeau .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
106 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The title comes from the rebels' description of the white people and their possessions.See more »
Movie Connections:


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1 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
At times interesting and shocking, but it could have been better..., 16 November 2011
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

I read through a couple reviews before I watched "White Material" and noticed that they pointed out that the film never says where the action is taking place--other than it's in a French-speaking part of Africa where they grow coffee. I thought it could be the Ivory Coast, Burundi or Cameroon--and when I checked IMDb, I saw it was filmed in Cameroon--though whether this is where the film is supposed to be set is uncertain. My bet is that it's just supposed to be a metaphor for ALL of colonial Africa and the drive over the last 60 years to take back the continent for Africans--so the language could have been English and the plantation could have been growing any one of a number of crops. In hindsight, I think the movie probably should have identified the country, as without a clear context, the film is a bit vague and difficult for many viewers.

As far as the film goes, it's like a snippet of film with little context. Who is fighting who, what has occurred that set the stage for the movie and who the people are in the film really isn't important for the filmmakers. This makes it difficult to connect with the people. Should you admire or hate the leading lady (Isabel Huppert)? Is her obsession with saving her plantation and bringing in the next coffee crop justified or not? What's going on with her family--the ex-husband, the son, the father, etc.? The film really doesn't have a lot to say about any of this. And, like not knowing where the film takes place, is something that many viewers may feel frustrated about as connecting with the people is very difficult.

None of this is to say that this is a bad film--but it does prevent it from being an exceptional film. It's interesting but could have said a lot more. It is a very, very quiet and slow film--which is interesting considering the country is racked with violence and chaos. Because of this, I really felt the film was limiting its appeal--which is a shame, as colonialism and its aftermath are really important topics for movies but are seldom discussed. Plus, while repulsive, the violence and seeing child soldiers is, unfortunately, not that uncommon on the continent and worth discussing.

By the way, although it's not gratuitous or salacious, the film has a bit of full-frontal male nudity. Also, not surprisingly, late in the film there is some pretty horrific violence. Just be forewarned.

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Criterion is releasing it! samuelloveshuppert
Can someone help me figure out the plot? *spoilers* squinchyface
Ahistorical and proud of it, or how this film fails its viewers datrax
Tindersticks darkerwiththeday
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Ruined at the end robertbruced
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