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4.2
7,516 Ratings

The White Ribbon

Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte

Directed by Michael Haneke
Germany, Austria, 2009
Drama, Mystery, History

Synopsis

In a rural German village in 1913, brutal authority is enforced by the baron and the pastor. Malevolent occurrences involving the upper class gradually take on the character of a punishment ritual. A school teacher investigates and slowly discovers the incredible truth.

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The White Ribbon Directed by Michael Haneke

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2009 | 3 wins including: Palme d'Or

2009 | Special Mention: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury

Academy Awards

2010 | 2 nominations including: Best Achievement in Cinematography

There’s a scene in [the film], shot in a single immobile take, where a poor man comes to look at the corpse of his wife, who’s just been killed in a sawmill accident. Her upper body is blocked out of view. The man, his head held low, approaches the bed she’s been laid on and, in a moment of unknowable misery, becomes obscured. It’s at this moment that Haneke relinquishes the aforementioned privilege and it becomes clear that THE WHITE RIBBON is the most openly empathetic film he’s ever made.
January 15, 2010
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The masterfully oblique sins-of-the-father mystery Haneke used for Benny’s Video and Caché goes awry here: providing too much evidence of the children’s complicity, the free-floating threat deflates; leaving too much of the adults’ indiscretions flagrantly out in the open, questions of motivation are met with pat answers; in demonstrating how familial and societal institutions instill repression and evade responsibility,
December 30, 2009
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No one’s idea of a cinematic cuddle-bunny, Haneke is as much strategist as filmmaker and more pedagogue than visionary. The White Ribbon is certainly the most beautiful movie he has made—a sort of triumphantly willed Meisterwerk. His use of narrative uncertainty, resembling those in the unsolved mystery at the heart of Caché, may be standard-issue, but there’s no denying The White Ribbon’s seriousness and unity.
December 29, 2009
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