Year of release: 2009
Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Christian Friedel, Leonie Benesch, Ulrich Tukur, Ursina Lardi, Burghart Klaußner
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9
Synopsis:German film-maker Michael Haneke is back after "Funny Games US", his own remake of the same film that he directed in 1997. Haneke is one of the most interesting film-makers currently working, having directed "La Pianiste" and "Cache" to name but a few. "The White Ribbon" takes place in a small rural community off the North of Germany, where strange events start occurring. They all lead back to the children of the community, since they are all so repressed by orders and morality. We follow the story of the young teacher of the community as he describes the events that occur and how they slowly escalate and take over the destiny of the small town, as the first World War looms.
This film is one of those cases where everything comes together to form a perfectly tight cinematic experience. The screenplay and direction of Michael Haneke, trace a progression of tension and perfectly capture the look and feel of the small community in the early 20th century. The heavy burden of morality that is thrust upon the children and their subsequent rebellion are a perfect metaphor for the ideologies that came about in the subsequent years in Germany (namely the Nazi ideology). The cinematography is absolutely stunning and gives the film a setting that is simultaneously classic, austere, but also very modern. The acting is uniformly good. A great film to see and cherish.