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The White Ribbon (2009)

Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (original title)
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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 & 42 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | Austria | France | Italy | Canada

Language:

German | Italian | Polish

Release Date:

5 March 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The White Ribbon See more »

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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 »
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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 1920s-1940s. 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

References Winter Light (1963) 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

 
Haunting Prequel to the Third Reich
17 January 2010 | by anjruSee all my reviews

Filmed beautifully in black and white with subtitles, The White Ribbon is a movie that will leave viewers with a lasting residue long after it ends. The film portrays the residents of a northern German village, dominated by a baron, sometime before World War I.

Inhabitants of this village, young and old, are sliding down the slippery slope of moral decline. The men in leadership positions - a doctor and clergyman, for example - are detestable, especially in their treatment of women and children. The most brutal scene in the movie, perhaps, was not one that portrayed physical violence, but verbal abuse towards a woman that served faithfully as caretaker, and more, for the town's widowed physician. As for the some of the children, although it is only suggested, it appears that they are budding sociopaths that perpetrate despicable acts against others.

Weeks after seeing this film, I started thinking more deeply about the children in this town. I realized that they would become young adults during the time Hitler would rise in power. They live an incubator in which the cruelty that they experience they, in turn, perpetrate against unsuspecting victims. Their circumstances are such that they are being unwittingly primed for carrying out the atrocities that will come to characterize their future in Nazi Germany. The White Ribbon is a prequel for the rise of the Third Reich.

Seeing this film led me to wonder about what present times are a prequel for.


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