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Claire Denis on filmmaking and feminism

Ahead of the British release of her new film, French auteur Claire Denis talks about her colonial upbringing, feminism—and why the Oscars mean nothing to her

By Hermione Eyre   July 2010

“It’s a tough film because the news from Africa is tough”: Isabelle Huppert as Maria Vial in Claire Denis’s White Material

My meeting with Claire Denis takes place, appropriately, in the Cinéma du Panthéon in Paris, a favourite art-house spot. Denis is one of the greatest film directors working today. Sight & Sound named her films 35 Shots of Rum (2008) and White Material (2009) as two of its top 10 movies released last year, although Beau Travail (1999) a reworking of Billy Budd set in the contemporary French foreign legion, remains her masterwork. As Denis, a tiny blonde Frenchwoman…

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