May 27, 2015
As the country that produced audaciously arrogant Marxist documentarian Jean Rouch (Moi, un noir aka Me a Black, Babatu) and far-leftist extremist propagandist René Vautier (whose short agitprop doc Afrique 50 (1950) was arguably the first European anti-colonial film ever made), not to mention exceedingly ethno-masochistic ‘intellectuals’ like spiteful little lazy-eyed toad Jean-Paul Sartre (a white man who gleefully backed the slaughtering of Europeans in his preface to Frantz Fanon's classic text The Wretched of the Earth yet characteristically was a hypocrite that lacked the testicular fortitude to follow through on his own beliefs and kill himself), France has a long history of anti-colonial agitators that seemed to suffer a sort of totally unbelievable race-based Stockholm syndrome. Of course, as Vilfredo Pareto demonstrated in his classic text The Rise and Fall of Elites: An Application of Theoretical Sociology, when a culture becomes irrevocably decadent its debauched elites begin to root for and actively support the very same people that seek to destroy them, as if they hoped to be spared from the very same revolutions that emphasize the extermination of all their friends and family members. To my knowledge, the only contemporary film that I can think of that depicts such warped thinking is ironically a French work directed by a woman who spent most of her childhood living in various French colonial West African nations and has dedicated most of her filmmaking career towards directing racially-charged works that were directed from a somewhat preternatural post-colonial white French female perspective. Indeed, White Material (2009) directed by Claire Denis (J'ai pas sommeil aka I Can’t Sleep, Trouble Every Day) depicts a racially schizophrenic white French woman played by half-Hebraic frog diva Isabelle Huppert who has a visceral hatred for her own people and is determined to keep her unprofitable coffee plantation going during a quasi-genocidal anti-white civil war in an unnamed Africa nation even though both the corrupt government and especially negro rebels want to see all whites killed, only for her and her family to experience a sort of self-prophesying tragedy of the quasi-apocalyptic sort. Depicting a sort of Haitian Revolution 2.0 that emphasizes the innate stupidity and self-deceptiveness of idealistic xenophiliac whites, the film should have probably borrowed its name from Dutch auteur Adriaan Ditvoorst’s masterpiece 1984 swansong and be called White Madness as it depicts how a delusional white dame more or less causes the death of her entire family due to her insistence that they stay in negroland during a savage civil war featuring roaming armies of rape-inclined child soldiers, thug mercenaries that charge people an insane rate just to drive down dirt roads without being executed, and other forms of murderously violent rabble who seem to be geared towards murdering their ‘enemies’ (aka virtually anyone they come in contact with) in the most malevolently sadistic ways imaginable. Surely White Material is an important contemporary film in the sense that it is probably the only somewhat recent work of its kind that dares to depict what can happen to xenophile and negrophile Europids when they refuse to face reality in terms of race dynamics, especially in regard to the fact that just because someone is an ethno-masochistic cracker who hates their own people does not mean that pan-African rebels and other groups of honky-hating sambos will not slaughter you and your entire family in a most malevolent fashion. Arguably more intriguingly, Denis' film spreads a message that makes it seem as if there is no hope for redemption for both France and its ex-colonies in Africa, as irrevocable damage has been done to both sides to the point where the best thing whitey can do is to leave the Dark Continent alone for good. Indeed, thankfully White Material is neither your typical masturbatory tribute to the dubious legacy of charlatan frauds like Mandela nor a putrid piece of poverty porn that is meant to coerce the slave-morality-ridden white viewer into crying for the perennially impoverished noble savage.
White Material begins somewhat abruptly with a group of negro soldiers curiously finding the corpse of a negro rebel named ‘The Boxer’ (Isaach De Bankolé of Lars von Trier’s Manderlay (2005) and Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control (2009)) lying on a bed in a white bourgeois home (as indicated by pictures of white people in the room) and declaring in an emotionless fashion, “It’s the Boxer. He’s dead alright.” The same group of negro soldiers are also depicted locking a young Aryan man with a shaved head into a room and setting it on fire. Edited in a somewhat confused nonlinear fashion, the film will eventually reveal at the end how the anti-white negro rebel leader the Boxer ended up dying in a white person’s comfortable bourgeois bed, as well as how the young Aryan boy ended up being locked in a room where he would ultimately be burned alive in a micro-holocaust of sorts. The foredoomed white boy’s name is Manuel (Nicolas Duvauchelle of Denis’ Beau Travail (1999) and Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s À l'intérieur (2007) aka Inside) and, not unlike his protagonist mother Maria Vial (Isabelle Huppert of Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001) and François Ozon’s 8 Women (2002)), he is somewhat unhinged, which seems to be both the natural result of tainted genetics and being part of a marginal white population that lives in a sub-Saharan African nation that is mostly hostile to Europeans. Aside from being a female cuckold of sorts that still lives at the same coffee plantation home with her ex-husband André (Christopher Lambert of Highlander (1986) and Mortal Kombat (1995)) who produced an illegitimate mulatto bastard son with the family’s fairly young live-in maid Lucie (Adèle Ado), Maria refuses to leave her unnamed African nation even though her business no longer turns a profit and a civil war has just started where all the whites are being killed as being broadcasted by a rebel DJ that has taken over the local radio station. Indeed, when a white neighbor attempts to convince Maria to leave the country by yelling to her from a helicopter, “Madame Vial. The French army is pulling out! We’re leaving! You’ll be completely cut off! Think it over, Madam Vial! Think it over! We’re pulling out! You must leave immediately,” she responds by getting a bitchy self-righteous attitude, gesturing a “fuck you” to the guy that tried to save her life, and saying to herself in a spiteful and rather confused fashion, “These whites, these dirty whites. They look down on us, and we risk our lives for them. They’re a bunch of nouveaux riches, pretentious, arrogant, ignorant. They don’t deserve this beautiful land. They can’t even appreciate it!,” as if she is in total denial about the fact that she belongs to the very same group of whites that she has so much seething hatred for. Of course, in the end, Maria’s decidedly deluded attitude will result in the death of her entire family.
While Maria is making her way back home to her coffee plantation, a negro preacher lies dead in his church, which has a banner outside of it that ironically reads, “God doesn’t give up,” thus reflecting the apocalyptic situation brewing in the African nation. Of course, the preacher was killed by cracker-hating commie rebels that are mostly made up of mere children who clearly lack both the intellectual and emotional capacity to fully understand the deranged behavior they are engaging in, as well as the dubious dead-end cause they are mindlessly fighting for. A group of these rebels eventually run into their almost supernaturally stoic hero the Boxer who, although severely wounded, brings no attention to the fact that his time is numbered. When the Boxer is handed a fancy golden lighter by one of his comrades and asks where it came from, one of the rebels replies, “It’s just white material,” thus indicating it is war booty that was taken by the child soldiers from a white family that they have recently slaughtered. Meanwhile, Maria gets back to her plantation and is quite enraged when a couple of her black employees tell her they are quitting and leaving due to the civil war, soundly stating to her, “Coffee’s coffee…Not worth dying for,” so she maturely responds to them by telling them to fuck off and to never come back. Indeed, despite her ostensible love for Africa and black Africans, Maria treats virtually all negroes like slaves who can be bought and ordered around for mere pennies and when they do not oblige her demands, she becomes rather ruthless like your typical privileged white bourgeois bitch who is used to getting what she wants. Without employees to help her harvest the coffee, Maria is forced to travel to a nearby village to contract employees among the most desperate and impoverished of negro sub-lumpenproles, but before she does, she finds the Boxer hiding in a shed on her plantation, but she does not kick him out because he is the nephew of her favorite and most loyal employee Jean-Marie even though he is an anti-European pan-African revolutionary who wants her kind flushed out of the decidedly dark, Dark Continent. Naturally, harboring a rebel leader in her home is not exactly a sound move on Maria’s part and it will ultimately foredoom her family to a most ungodly fate that is nothing short of catastrophic, if not all that different from what white Frenchmen suffered during the Haitian Revolution when the negro population exterminated the entire white population, including the women and children (though a handful of white female traitors managed to survive by agreeing to marry negroes).
Upon leaving in a large truck to look for employees to help her with harvesting coffee, Maria is stopped on the road by a couple of young machinegun-wielding negroes who demand that she pays $100 as a ‘toll’ or be killed. Interestingly, the leader of the group is Maria’s son’s gym teacher and the protagonist also personally knows every single one of the militant negro crooks, but that does not stop them from sticking guns in her face and threatening her life, thus she is forced to pay the rather ridiculous toll just so she will not be gunned down for driving on an archaic dirt road. Before heading to the village, Maria stops at a pharmacy to pick up drugs for her ex-father-in-law and her black pharmacist friends attempt to coerce her to leave the country as they assume she will be killed since she is white. Notably, while at the pharmacy, a rebel DJ announces via radio: “As for the white material, the party’s over. No more cocktails on shaded verandas while we sweat water and blood. They’re getting out…and they’re right to run scared. Our rulers are already trembling, their suitcases stuffed with booty they amassed while you starved.” Unbeknownst to Maria, while she is picking up about a dozen or so negroes to work at her plantation, her ex-husband André is selling the entire business and property to the local mayor Chérif, who is not beneath ripping off his old white friends during times of desperation even though he is already extremely rich to the point of having his own private militia. As André retorts to Chérif when he comments that Maria will be mad when she finds out that he went behind her back and secretly sold the plantation, “I’m protecting her from herself. We no longer turn a profit. No use getting massacred over some coffee. The plantation isn’t worth a thing.” Clearly a self-absorbed scumbag of sorts, Chérif brags to André, “I keep you alive. Without me, you’d be rotting on the Garonne” upon making a dubious deal to buy the plantation for literally nothing (in fact, the plantation is given to Chérif to settle supposed debts, with the colored predatory capitalist claiming that André will still owe him money after handing over the property).
Before heading home with her new employees, Maria goes by an elementary school to pick up her ex-husband’ 12-year-old bastard mulatto son Jose, but André arrives around the same time, so he brings his half-breed progeny back home with him on his motorbike. When Maria gets home, she tries in vain to wake up her twentysomething-year-old adult son Manuel—a clearly half-crazed fellow who takes after his mother sans her work ethic—since he is still dead asleep even though it is well into the afternoon. When Manuel finally awakes from his slumber, he decides to take a dip in the dirty family pool and is quite intrigued when he hears a couple young children moving inside his house. Ultimately, Manuel's curiosity gets the best of him and he decides to do what proves be a major mistake when he attempts to chase down the kids while wearing no shoes. Unbeknownst to Manuel, the children are armed and they eventually corner him while wielding machetes, spears, and guns and then proceed to call him a “yellow dog,” cut off a lock of his hair, and shove a gun down his pants near his genitals in a perverted fashion that signifies that they have a sickly salacious sod thirst for defiling white meat. Although not actually depicted, it is insinuated that one of the child rebels rapes Manuel as he is featured in a subsequent scene completely naked with his knees and feet bloody, as if somehow had just violently manhandled him while he was bent over on the ground. While André eventually finds his son naked in the field and provides him with clothes and Maria subsequently begins driving him home, Manuel eventually escapes and heads back home where he grabs a rifle, completely shaves his head into a skinhead style in a seemingly symbolic act that demonstrates his recent psychological castration via negro rape, and then shoves his hair into the mouth of his half-breed brother Jose's mother Lucie in a rather violent fashion, as if to let her know that he no longer takes orders from his parents' virtual slaves and that he is disgusted with the fact that his father left his mother and reproduced with a young negress concubine. Although Manuel’s grandfather Henri Vial (Michel Subor of François Truffaut’s Jules and Jim (1962) and Jean-Luc Godard’s Le Petit Soldat (1963))—the true owner of the plantation and patriarch of the home—comes to Lucie’s rescue and kicks his grandson out of the house, the black girl is enraged and hatefully declares, “The patriots will kill you all! All of you!,” thus indicating that she has no love for her white baby-daddy or his crazy cracker family.
In a flashback scene that hints that Maria may have been carrying on a romance with the negro mayor, the protagonist shares a joint with Chérif as he gleefully explains to her how she has failed as a mother in terms of raising a mentally unstable slacker of a son. After describing Manuel as a boy whose “mind is all over the place” that is turning into a “dog,” Chérif remarks to Maria regarding her influence on her son, “You botched it with him. You didn’t finish the job” and she responds by laughing like a typical stoned stupid moron. Of course, Maria’s workers fear for their lives and decide to quit when they hear the following announced by a government soldier on the local radio: “A reliable source has informed us that the rebel soldier, the Boxer, is hiding out amidst foreigners who rip us off and use our land to grow mediocre coffee that we’d never drink. Their accomplices will be eliminated.” Indeed, the black workers pull guns on Maria and demand money, but someone has stolen all the money from the family safe, so the desperate negro proles settle for a ride back to their village. Unfortunately, on the way back to the village, a group of rebel child soldiers that are clearly wearing the protagonist's jewelry and clothing steal Maria’s van and kill a couple workers who dare to proclaim their innocence as poor workers. Indeed, by killing the poor peasants, the revolutionaries demonstrate they could care less about the bastardized Marxist ideology that they are ostensibly fighting for. When Maria goes to check on her friends at the pharmacy, she discovers that the store has been wrecked and robbed and that all of her buddies have been brutally slaughtered. Of course, the pharmacists were killed by the child rebels, who are more interested in getting high on factory grade drugs than bringing down their supposed capitalist oppressors.
Rather bizarrely, when he sees the child soldiers driving his mother’s truck, Manuel, who is clearly not sound of mind and has developed a particularly advanced form of racial Stockholm syndrome where he has become sympathetic to the struggle of his black rapists, yells to them while riding a motorbike that he knows where their ‘spiritual leader’ the Boxer is and he will take them to him. Indeed, Manuel takes the murderous ‘youths’ back to his plantation and helps them steal a wheelbarrow full of food and then he and the killer kids get high on stolen drugs from the pharmacy and gorge on a buffet of western junk food. Meanwhile, a group of government soldiers begin invading the plantation while elderly patriarch Henri looks on silently and does not bother to warn his family members that a group of army thugs have come to slaughter them. When the soldiers find most of the child rebels sleeping in rooms inside the plantation house, including a preteen boy lying in a bathtub next to toys and empty jars of jelly, they kill them softly by driving knives into their still bodies in what is unquestionably one of the most calm and even soothing mass murder scenes in cinema history. When the soldiers find Manuel walking around the plantation with a rifle in his hand, they lock him in a room, set it on fire, and burn him alive. Meanwhile, Maria eventually manages to get a lift back home from her friend Chérif and during the ride the protagonist complains that her son Manuel is “defenseless” without her and the mayor soundly responds, “Extreme blondness brings bad luck. It cries out to be pillaged. Blue eyes are troublesome. This is his country. He was born here. But it doesn’t like him.” When Maria gets home, she finds both her ex-husband André lying dead in a pool of blood next to passports and Manuel’s scorched corpse. After noting that her (ex)father-in-law is still alive and discernibly unscathed, Maria brutally murders Henri by hacking him up with a machete in a scene that, whether intentional on the director's part or not, seems to symbolize the deleterious effect that living in post-colonial Africa can have on a European. At the end of the film, a wounded rebel runs off into the woods, thus assumedly signifying the perennial state of catastrophic revolution in post-colonial Africa. The film concludes with the pseudo-dedication, “For the fearless young rascals…for Maria,” as if to insinuate that both the child rebels and the protagonist suffer from a similar sort of childish arrogance, pathological pigheadedness, and self-destructive naivety.
Undoubtedly, I would be lying if I did not admit that I found Isabelle Huppert’s character in White Material to be strikingly less sympathetic than her role as the eponymous masochistic pervert in Haneke’s The Piano Teacher, which certainly says a lot, at least as far as I am concerned as I consider the anti-heroine in the latter film to be one of the most grotesque and uniquely unlikeable female characters in cinema history. Indeed, aside from being an exceedingly ethno-masochistic cuckquean who smokes dope with corrupt black politicians and romanticizes African negroes so much that she considers them to be infinitely preferable to her own people even though they hate her and everything she represents while at the same time treating said African negroes like virtual slaves, Huppert’s character risks the lives of everyone in her family so that she can maintain her silly dead-end existence of running a coffee plantation in a forsaken third world hellhole where murderous commie revolutions and anti-European race hate are everyday occurrences, thereupon resulting in a number of inexplicable tragedies that could have been easily avoided had she taken heed of the much warranted advice of virtually everyone she knows, including her black employers that understand their country much better than she does, thus making her no different than the moron politicians in Europe who thinking flooding their countries with more Islamic barbarian untermenschen will somehow make their countries more stable. I also do not think it is a coincidence that the protagonist's son is a moronic lunatic, as the character acts as a sort of allegorical representation of the negative effects of being white and born into a post-colonial nightmare nation where everyone hates you simply because of the color of your skin and you have nothing or no one to relate to, hence why the character goes completely berserk and leads the anti-white black rebels back to his family plantation so that they can destroy the place. It should also be noted that during the film the protagonist's ex-husband's mulatto son senselessly commits sabotage at the plantation while the characters are harvesting coffee by going on the roof of a building and cutting an electricity wire. Undoubtedly, this half-breed prodigal son is a sort of historically accurate archetype of colonial history as reflected in the fact that various leaders of the Haitian Revolution were the bastard Mulatto sons of French aristocrats and plantation owners. Of course, as the old Greek adage goes, the bastard will always be the enemy of the true-born. If White Material has any discernible message, it is there is no hope for whitey in the Dark Continent, or as virtual pimp politician Chérif states, “Extreme blondness brings bad luck. It cries out to be pillaged. Blue eyes are troublesome.” Of course, nothing is more troublesome than racially schizophrenic blue-eyed devils that somehow think they can survive and even thrive in a country full of poor and resentful half-starved negroes who cannot stand a foreigner that is more successful in their own homeland than they are.
In its depiction of the hopelessly ‘unequal’ master-slave relationship that occurs when black works for white, White Material is surely superficially comparable to Senegalese auteur Ousmane Sembène’s debut feature La noire de... (1966) aka Black Girl, albeit more intricate and strikingly nihilistic. As much of Denis' work, including J'ai pas sommeil (1994) aka I Can't Sleep—a genre-confused film based on the true story of gay mulatto serial killer Thierry Paulin, who had a fetish for killing elderly white women and died of AIDS in prison before ever being convicted of any of the heinous crimes that he committed—demonstrates in a intricately idiosyncratic sort of fashion, the ghost of Frantz Fanon lives on as black Africa is taking its revenge against France for colonialism in a variety of strange and oftentimes predictable ways while racially schizophrenic white Frenchmen seem completely oblivious to the point of welcoming their misfortune. Thematically speaking, I must admit that I think Denis’ film is extremely grotesque and quite symbolic of the sort of all-consuming sickness that is plaguing the post-colonial French collective unconscious, hence White Material’s importance as a rare frog flick that offers some sort of contemporary truth, especially in regard to the impossibility of real peace between black and white. Indeed, something is indubitably innately sick and dysfunctional about a society when an elderly French woman directs a film where a young and handsome Adonis-like white Frenchman that is old enough to be the filmmaker's grandson is raped by a murderous negro child, as it demonstrates a certain irrevocable defilement of the soul that would have seemed totally inexplicable only a generation ago, even in a traditionally degenerate nation like France. Indeed, forget Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Joris-Karl Huysmans, and Georges Bataille, White Material is Franco-debauchment at its most horrifyingly sick and depraved. Of course, for those individuals that have a certain disdain for bleeding heart white liberals, Denis' film indubitably offers a bit of schadenfreude, even if the director has a somewhat curious view of race relations. Like the work of any great female filmmaker, including the films of Ulrike Ottinger and Helma Sanders-Brahms, White Material ultimately reflects the sort of bizarre and seemingly convoluted moral stances that honest members of the fairer sex seem particularly susceptible to, thus making for a particularly provocative cinematic work that dares to stir and ultimately debase the soul of the viewer to the point where they might question the popular view that it is the duty of Europids everywhere to champion mindless altruism towards poor negroes. If nothing else, Denis' film demonstrates that sub-Saharan Africans and blacks in general generally hate whites and no amount of altruism, pathetic groveling, or moronic negrophilia will change that fact. After all, it is no coincidence that after over 210 years, black Haitians still celebrate the complete extermination of the entire white population during the Haitian Revolution as the greatest event in their entire history. Of course, it is also no coincidence that Haiti went from being one of the most advanced and fruitful colonies in the world to degenerating into one of the most backwards and destitute slums on earth as a result of the revolution.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 3:22 PM
Soiled Sinema 2007 - 2013. All rights reserved. Best viewed in Firefox and Chrome.