How I voted in Sight & Sound's decennial critics' poll
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10. "White Material" (Claire Denis, 2009)
I call this one either my wild-card inclusion or my investment pick: there are those who believe a film has to be quarantined for at least a decade before it can be considered for such lists, but I have enough faith in myself and the medium to call a personal all-timer when I see it. Claire Denis’s scorched, shattered reflection on mutant African identity floored me at first sight in Venice three years ago, and continues to provoke on repeat viewings – not necessarily because it’s her most immaculate film (though it might be her most fiercely sharpened), but because its tender-tense devotion to its exquisitely hostile landscape tapped unnervingly into my own conflicted African citizenship like no film has done before.
Photo Credit: IFC Films