The White Ribbon

2010-08-02 09:00
The White Ribbon

What it's about:

A village in Protestant northern Germany, 1913-1914, on the eve of the first World War. The story of the children and teenagers of a choir run by the village schoolteacher and their families: The baron, the steward, the pastor, the doctor, the midwife and the tenant farmers. Strange accidents occur and gradually take on the character of a punishment ritual. Who is behind it all?

What the critics thought:

"Haneke's success in maintaining tension is especially impressive in that he does it despite a loose narrative and the necessity of juggling a dozen characters."
- Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

"I wonder if Haneke's point is that we grow so disturbed by danger that we will surrender freedom -- even demand to. Do we feel more secure in an orderly state? Many do."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"Watching the daisy chain of events is akin to auditing a seminar on incipient fascism taught by a master filmmaker who speaks in a steely murmur, confident of his research."
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

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Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment.

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