In terms of supplements the IFC titles can be hit or miss and Iím going to guess that probably some of the problem has to do with the fact most of the films (so far) are incredibly new and are just missing that analytical edge because of this.
Instead of an audio commentary, director Claire Denis provides a 25-minute interview where she talks about the production history of White Material, the themes within it, and general anecdotes about certain sequences and shots. She talks about the political turmoil that has occurred or is occurring in certain African countries, similar to what is presented in this film, and also covers what it was like to film in Cameroon and discusses her previous films. She then moves on to collaborating with Huppert and her presence on the set, which was apparently intimidating to some of the other performers. Nice interview though I was probably hoping for more of an analysis of the film and when she does talk about the film itís more in a technical nature.
Criterion also includes an interview with actress Isabelle Huppert. Itís unfortunately brief at only 14-minutes and she offers an analysis of her character and her motivations. From there she covers what it was like to work with Denis and comments on her style of camerawork and editing (based on this interview and the next one a lot of material was cut from the film) and even offers an interpretation about the ending, though itís nothing too Earth shattering.
And then we get yet another interview, this one with actor Isaach Bankolť who plays ďThe BoxerĒ in the film. He talks about the basis for his character, Thomas Sankara (a subject Denis does touch on in her interview) and interestingly he also talks about a number of his scenes revolving around his character that ultimately either didnít make the cut or were never filmed (he almost sounds disappointed as he adds that the depth of his character was more apparent in these removed scenes.) He has also worked with Denis previously and covers the film Chocolat briefly. Probably my favourite interview of the bunch.
A short 2-minute deleted scene is included, presenting a sort of alternate/extended ending to the film, or at least a short scene that would lead up to the ending. A nice inclusion but again, judging from the interviews, it sounds as though a lot of material was actually cut from the film so itís disappointing that more didnít make it into this set. This supplement looks to be upscaled from a standard definition source.
The final big feature (not counting the IFC theatrical trailer) is a short 12-minute documentary by Denis about the premiere of White Material at the …crans Noirs Film Festival in 2010 in Cameroon, where she premieres the film. Narrated by Denis she talks about the showing, its shortcomings, and presents footage taken at the festival. Though interesting in a couple of areas regarding the showing I donít think itís a must-see feature.
The included booklet then comes with a nice essay by Amy Taubin on Denisís career, this film, and some of the related themes found in all of her films.
In all the interviews are decent but itís a pretty slim collection of material, barely totaling an hoursí worth of time. 5/10