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

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  5 March 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 50,102 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 188 user | 288 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

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



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 54 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernst Jacobi ...
Fion Mutert ...
Michael Kranz ...
The Pastor (as Burghart Klaussner)
Steffi Kühnert ...
Maria-Victoria Dragus ...
Levin Henning ...
Johanna Busse ...
Josef Bierbichler ...


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


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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Release Date:

5 March 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The White Ribbon  »

Box Office


€12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£72,226 (UK) (13 November 2009)


$2,222,647 (USA) (28 May 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Haneke planned this movie with Ulrich Mühe as the pastor, but he died the year before shooting began. See more »


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 opening and closing credits are shown in complete silence. There is no music or other sounds during both entire credit sequences. See more »


Referenced in Hjelp, vi er i filmbransjen (2011) See more »


A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Written by Martin Luther
Sung in the church
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This is a movie against all extremisms
6 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In an interview with the French newspaper "Le Monde" on 10/20/09, published on 10/21/09, Michael Haneke has explicitly and unequivocally declared his intentions in making the movie "The White Ribbon":

He intended to make a movie about the roots of evil. He said that he believed that the environment of extreme, punitive and sexually repressive protestantism in Germany, has laid the groundwork for Fascism and Nazism. He also said that he saw the same patterns developing in fundamentalist Muslim societies today, and that it is those societies that today were spawning terrorists and suicide bombers. Finally, he expressed the sentiment that "The White Ribbon" is a movie against ALL extremisms.

Michael Haneke has directed his vision in a very masterful and artful way: the cinematography, the acting, and the script are all superb.

The only problem I have is with the vision itself: The environment certainly plays a role, but to explain evil exclusively as the product of one's environment is simplistic and goes against common sense observation: The majority of people on this earth have grown up under repressive regimes and yet have NOT turned out to become murderers, mass murderers, terrorists or suicide bombers. Something is missing in the equation.

91 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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