New Release: White Material Blu-ray and DVD

On April 12, 2011, the Criterion Collection issued Blu-ray and DVD editions of White Material, the movie from the great contemporary French filmmaker Claire Denis (Chocolat, Beau Travail).

In the 2009 drama, writer/director Denis presents the story of Maria Vial (Isabelle Huppert, Merci Pour le Chocolat), an entitled white woman living in Africa who is desperately — and dangerously! — unwilling to give up her family’s crumbling coffee plantation despite the civil war closing in on her.

Created with Denis’ signature visual style, which places the viewer in the center of the chaos, White Material is a powerful evocation of the death throes of European colonialism and a fascinating look at a woman lost in her own mind.

In the DVD and Blu-ray editions, the movie was presented in a new digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Claire Denis and cinematographer Yves Cape. The Blu-ray has a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack and both versions boast new and improved English subtitle translation.

Both contain the following special features:

  • interviews with Denis and actors Huppert and Isaach de Bankolé
  • short documentary by Denis on the film’s premiere at the Écrans Noirs Film Festival 2010 in Cameroon
  • deleted scene
  • theatrical trailer
  • booklet featuring a new essay by film writer Amy Taubin

Presented in French with English subtitles, the DVD and Blu-ray discs carry the list prices of $29.95 and $39.95, respectively.

 

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.