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The White Ribbon (2009)
"Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte" (original title)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 44,538 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 181 user | 280 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

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. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 59 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ernst Jacobi ...
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Eva
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Fion Mutert ...
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The Pastor (as Burghart Klaussner)
Steffi Kühnert ...
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Levin Henning ...
Johanna Busse ...
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Josef Bierbichler ...
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Storyline

From July, 1913 to the outbreak of World War I, a series of incidents take place in a German village. A horse trips on a wire and throws the rider; a woman falls to her death through rotted planks; the local baron's son is hung upside down in a mill; parents slap and bully their children; a man is cruel to his long-suffering lover; another sexually abuses his daughter. People disappear. A callow teacher, who courts a nanny in the baron's household, narrates the story and tries to investigate the connections among these accidents and crimes. What is foreshadowed? Are the children holy innocents? God may be in His heaven, but all is not right with the world; the center cannot hold. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing content involving violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 September 2009 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

The White Ribbon  »

Box Office

Budget:

€12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$59,848 (USA) (1 January 2010)

Gross:

$2,222,647 (USA) (28 May 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the town itself is fictional, many of the incidents depicted in the film are drawn from real incidents in Germany and Austria during the 1920's-1940's. See more »

Quotes

Martin: I gave God a chance to kill me. He didn't do it, so he's pleased with me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits are shown in complete silence. There is no music or other sounds during the entire credit sequence. See more »


Soundtracks

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
(uncredited)
Written by Martin Luther
Sung in the church
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Exquisite and brooding mood-piece
21 May 2009 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Few film auteurs can match the consistency of Michael Haneke, and once again the Austrian filmmaker has come up trumps with an exquisite and brooding mediation on repression, tradition and the sins of the father.

Shot in stunning black and white, the film chronicles a series of mysterious events in a town leading up to the outbreak of WWI. The pace is slow and thoughtful, and the film is reference to August Sander while being a respectful throwback to the German expressionists whose work would come out of the horrors the film's narrative seems to foreshadow.

The hallmarks of Haneke's body of work are all there – elegiac tone, clinical editing, wincingly frank dialogue – but in many ways The White Ribbon stands alone in the canon. It is a challenging work that will polarise audiences but represents a breathtaking new wave not just in the director's career but in European cinema.

Some might say the film's inherent flaw is that there is no-one to root for, but this is perhaps its key strength. It's certainly plausible that this is Haneke's intention: he wants to position us as mute outsiders to a slowly creeping menace, unable to have a say in the invisible horrors that await us. The result is a deadening and thoroughly rewarding experience - a combination few filmmakers could hope to achieve.


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What most veiwers of this movie are not getting... belladonna99
Why is everyone missing the obvious truth about this film? namragus
Why didn't Eva want to have the picnic with the teacher? Voice-Of-Reason3
why this movie is shot in Black and White? theshaileshparmar
Do you think the girl really dreamt of the crimes? alexpan
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