Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog

The White Ribbon

Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on July 18, 2010 at 6:45 PM


Michael Haneke


IDEA:   Strange, violent events keep mysteriously occuring in a small German village leading up to World War I, rattling the nerves of the community.

BLURB:   With crisp, stunningly clear high-key B&W photography, The White Ribbon finds a world coated in pristine purity, masking a festering ritual of abuse and punishment within. The adults are the discipliners – most harsh, unforgiving, strict and practiced by religious fundamentalism. Their children, as a natural result, retain and relive the cruel behavior of their elders in an increasing cascade of repression and fear. All of them, however, are rigid products of hierarchical control and self-fulfilling malice, each one’s placement within the grander sociological scale of the town making them complicit perpetrators in its broiling cage of rancor. When the pastor makes his children wear white ribbons to remind them of the innocence they are to strive for, we are reminded of the alarmingly simple ways dangerous thoughts can be bred in an environment averse to freedom.

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