White Material ★★★★

A gripping film about the death of European colonialism as portrayed by the trials of an obsessive, deeply disturbed coffee merchant, who refuses to shut down her plantation as civil war rages around her. Isabelle Huppert's performance is a fully inhabited portrait of an ambitious, flawed, endlessly fascinating character - she's visciously written as an example of all-encompassing greed, but Huppert imbues her with a humanity that keeps the character from being more than sharp political critique. Don't get me wrong, if the film were focused on just sharp political critique, it'd still be an eviscerating and highly effective look into the clash between conflict and capitalism. Claire Denis' immediacy of style and keen sense of place make for a wholly immersive, uncomfortable experience. Great stuff.