I have not seen nearly enough of Claire Denis' films. In fact, this is only the third one of hers that I've seen after 1999's brilliant Beau Travail and 2001's silly Vincent Gallo vampire movie Trouble Every Day. I need to see more and in particular need to seek out her best ones. She seems to be a bit hit or miss from what I've seen and read.
This apparently is her third film set in Africa (where she spent a large part of her childhood) after her debut, 1988's Chocolat and Beau Travail.
Isabelle Huppert stars as a stubborn French coffee plantation owner who refuses to leave despite the dangers she faces as the nameless African country she's in is collapsing into civil war. Land is being seized and people are getting murdered in the streets. Yet she won't leave. Her twentysomething son has gone nuts. Her husband implores her to leave but no dice. The whole thing is a bit silly at times but also quite beautifully shot. I wanted more of a reason to care about the characters but didn't quite get that.
Still, I'm glad I saw it. And any movie that has Isaach de Bankolé, (most recently seen as the Lone Man in The Limits of Control) is a-ok by me.
Directed by Claire Denis
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