7.8/10
60,817
203 user 280 critic

The White Ribbon (2009)

Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (original title)
Trailer
1:52 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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?

Director:

Michael Haneke

Writers:

Michael Haneke, Michael Haneke (story)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 59 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Caché (2005)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A married couple is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Bénichou
Amour (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young man romantically pursues his masochistic piano teacher.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot, Benoît Magimel
Code Unknown (2000)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man harasses a homeless woman, another man protests, the police arrest both and the woman has to leave the country. What were their various story-lines leading up to this event?

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Thierry Neuvic, Josef Bierbichler
Funny Games (1997)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two violent young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch
Benny's Video (1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Arno Frisch, Angela Winkler, Ulrich Mühe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Birgit Doll, Dieter Berner, Leni Tanzer
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When Anna and her family arrive at their holiday home, they find it occupied by strangers. This confrontation is just the beginning of a painful learning process.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Anaïs Demoustier, Béatrice Dalle
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

71 scenes revolving around a recent immigrant, a couple that has just adopted a daughter, a college student and a lonely old man.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Gabriel Cosmin Urdes, Lukas Miko, Otto Grünmandl
Funny Games (2007)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt
Happy End (2017)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A drama about a family set in Calais with the European refugee crisis as the backdrop.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Friedel ... The School Teacher
Ernst Jacobi ... The School Teacher as an Old Man (voice)
Leonie Benesch ... Eva
Ulrich Tukur ... The Baron
Ursina Lardi ... The Baroness
Fion Mutert Fion Mutert ... Sigi
Michael Kranz ... The Tutor
Burghart Klaußner ... The Pastor (as Burghart Klaussner)
Steffi Kühnert ... The Pastor's Wife
Maria Dragus ... Klara (as Maria-Victoria Dragus)
Leonard Proxauf ... Martin
Levin Henning Levin Henning ... Adolf
Johanna Busse Johanna Busse ... Margarete
Thibault Sérié ... Gustav
Josef Bierbichler ... The Steward
Edit

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


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Germany | Austria | France | Italy

Language:

German | Italian | Polish

Release Date:

5 March 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The White Ribbon See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

€12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$59,848, 3 January 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,222,647, 30 May 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

In the scene when the farmer sits next to his wife's corpse, the actress's breathing is noticeable. 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 opening and closing credits are shown in complete silence. There is no music or other sounds during both entire credit sequences. See more »

Connections

Referenced in DR2 Premiere: Episode #4.2 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Haneke produces his most timeless classic
14 December 2009 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

What do you do when you 'know' there is a very tangible threat but cannot point the finger? Recall, if you will, Jean. Julianne Moore's character in Crash: " . . . and it was my fault because I knew it was gonna happen. But if a white person sees two black men walking towards her and she turns and walks in the other direction, she's a racist, right?" Or the dilemma of Islam in Europe. On the one hand, we are impelled to protect the rights of the vulnerable minority. Protect their beliefs. Their innocence. Everything decent within ourselves that we wish to respect and preserve in others. But on the other, we are terrified of the prospect creeping Islamic militancy. We teeter on the brink of racism. Islamophobia. If we risk the sacred humanity in others we attack it in ourselves. And what if all the indications are wrong? What if all our beliefs are wrong? What if all the words led us astray? Too late, we know we have to talk about paedophile priests. Too late, we know we should have talked about Hitler (in the days before, yes before, he was the Bad Guy). Or even World War One before it happened. There are times when we cannot accuse. Times when it will do no good. But still, as Lionel Shiver might say, there are times when we know, 'We need to talk about Kevin.' Haneke confronts the paradox of confronting the unimaginable. Not in the Hollywood sense of 'too scary to think about.' Just confronting something that is outside the ability of the imagination to foreshadow. In Hidden, the format was an intricate art house film that appealed more to the cinema geek. The cult viewer. A brilliant film – but one you would probably need to watch at least twice before you could 'get it.' The White Ribbon is an altogether different genre. The mystery is laid out as carefully as any Hitchcock classic, albeit with the more restrained tones and iconography of Luis Buñuel. There is not the surrealism of his Exterminating Angel, but the clearly delineated social restraints that refuse to acknowledge anything that does not fit, they are all there. A small village on the eve of World War One. A fierce Lutheran Protestantism that will admit no way of thinking unless it is true to the cornerstones of its faith. Ignorance poses as innocence. And the horrors that can spring from deeply ingrained discipline.

Somehow, within a community where everyone knows and trusts each other, a series of very unpleasant incidents occur. A wire is strung to trip the doctor's horse. A disabled boy is brutally attacked. A woman commits suicide. Unexplained arson. The seeds of deadliest emotions are there in a society that allows for nothing except goodness.

Haneke carefully details various forms of patriarchal enforcement of this goodness. It might be righteous anger or compassionate punishment. I recall my philosophy teacher at university saying how some things can be learnt but not taught. Then another professor's dismissal of Aristotle's virtue theory on the basis that it cannot be 'taught.' In this Haneke world of black-and-white moral righteousness, those characters who seek no more than a least worst option seem to come, quite logically, to an untriumphant end. A boy who wants to save a wounded bird. A schoolteacher who wants to reveal with gentleness that which force cannot uncover.

With Funny Games, Haneke shocked with intruders. With Hidden, he forced us to confront a barely solvable mystery. With The White Ribbon, his greatest work yet, a simple story takes on universal proportions. No intruders. No outsiders. We can no longer take refuge in any system of 'universal truth.' Whether it be the science of our sense or the dictates of religion. We must learn as we grow. This White Ribbon is no fairy tale story. It has no fairy tale ending. All is logical. Just that you might never, ever, be able to prove it.


61 of 94 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 203 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed