The White Ribbon
(Austria, 2009, 144 min.)
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival and nominated for the Best Foreign Film at the 2009 Academy Awards, The White Ribbon follows a small German village from the year 1913 to the beginning of World War I. From the international award winning writer and director Michael Haneke, The White Ribbon is a cerebral parable that questions the origins of innocence. The controlling nature of the doctor, baron, and pastor over the women and children of Eichwald, Germany leads to a hidden resistance. As the school teacher (Christian Friedel) narrates and investigates a series of mysterious accidents, injuries, and deaths, an upheaval of social justice and power foreshadows Germany’s future struggles with fascism. Filmed in black and white, The White Ribbon forces audiences, through its subtle cinematography and keen attention to detail, to gaze past the surface of manners, and instead, see the bitter truth of action. Exploring religious and political emotions that supported terrorism pre-WWII, The White Ribbon will leave audiences wondering what they perhaps neglected to notice in the war-driven terror of today’s society.