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The White Ribbon (2009) Poster

Trivia

The children in the film are the generation of Germans who became Nazis. Michael Haneke has stated that while that is intentional, the ideas in the film are meant to apply not just to fascism but to any form of radicalism, including terrorism. For this reason, the film's subtitle, "Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte ("A German children's-story") is written in a unique German script and left untranslated, so that German audiences will regard the film as specifically about the roots of Nazism while audiences elsewhere can regard the themes as universal.
After it lost the Best Foreign Film Oscar, a few articles were written exposing that the Academy voters for this category were not obligated to view all the films before voting.
Most of the adults are not given names in the film, instead being called Pastor, Baron, Steward, etc. This includes the narrator, who is only known as The School Teacher.
Michael Haneke wanted the environments to be very dark, so many indoor scenes used only practical light sources such as oil lamps and candles. In some of the darkest scenes, where the crew had been forced to add artificial lighting, extra shadows could be removed in the digital post-production which allowed for extensive retouching.
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 1920s-1940s.
All scenes were originally shot in color and then altered to black and white in post-production.
More than 7000 children were interviewed during the six-month-long casting period. For most of the adult roles, Michael Haneke selected actors with whom he had worked before and therefore knew they were suitable for the roles.
In an interview with Austrian magazine "Celluloid", Michael Haneke stated that he first planned "Das weiße Band" as a three-part TV-mini-series.
The choice to make the film in black and white was based partly on the resemblance to photographs of the era, but also to create a distancing effect.
In the dance scene, where the camera moves in 360 degrees, tiles were added frame by frame to replace the original Eternit roofs.
Before filming started, Christian Berger studied the black and white films Ingmar Bergman made with Sven Nykvist as cinematographer.
Germany's official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards in 2010.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
Michael Haneke planned this movie with Ulrich Mühe as the pastor, but he died the year before shooting began.
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Michael Haneke has said the project was in development for several years.
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Film debut of Christian Friedel.
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The extras who played villagers were bused 1,000 miles from Romania, since no locals had the requisite weather-beaten faces of farmers of the period.
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The production searched all of Northern Germany for a manor and surrounding buildings to use as their main shooting location, and found only one that had neither been destroyed nor modernized, and was not so dilapidated as to be unusable. They then restored it to the state it would have been in at the time the film took place.
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Michael Haneke wrote the part of the Midwife for Susanne Lothar, after having worked with her on Funny Games (1997). He then had to talk her into playing the part, which she at first found too shocking.
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