The White Ribbon

Rated R 144 minutes 2009

Director Michael Haneke seems to be drawing from Ingmar Bergman’s 1960s black-and-white films, Wolf Rilla’s bizarre cult Village of the Damned and his own twisted psyche to create this unsettling but somewhat dull story of strange goings-on in 1914 Germany. A small town experiences a series of assaults, but no assailants are found. The minister ties white ribbons around his children to remind them of purity. The land-owning baron plays the part of the big-hearted benefactor, but is really a narcissistic monster with no empathy for the people he employs. And the village’s doctor, far from the caring healer, is a brutally insensitive lout. But none of them are the villains in this strange and twisty mystery that explores the roots of the kind of polarizing morality that lead to Nazism. The White Ribbon is a puzzle picture, never fully revealing its secrets but giving enough clues that the intelligent filmgoer will find the unpleasant answers to its riddles.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.sonyclassics.com/thewhiteribbon

Director: Michael Haneke

Producer: Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, Margaret Ménégoz, Andrea Occhipinti and Michael Katz

Cast: Christian Friedel, Leonie Benesch, Ulrich Tukur, Ursina Lardi, Burghart Klaussner, Steffi Kühnert, Josef Bierbichler, Gariela Schmeide, Rainer Bock, Susanne Lothar, Maria-Victoria Dragus, Leonard Proxauf, Janina Fautz, Eddy Grahl and Ernst Jacobi

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