I had been waiting anxiously to see the film The White Ribbon for some time, due in part because it was directed by Michael Haneke and in part because it nominated for the best foreign film Oscar in 2009. Michael Haneke directed the film Cache, a French thriller that I really enjoyed. I expected The White Ribbon to have the same slow-building suspense and beautiful cinematography as Cache, and I was not disappointed. The movie revolves around the people of a small village in Germany just before the beginning of World War I. As mysterious “accidents” befall members of the community, the villagers (and the audience) are left wondering who could be so brutal to his/her fellow man. The village pastor uses a white ribbon in the movie as a symbol of innocence, but it quickly becomes clear that no one in the village is entirely innocent. As the suspense builds, the World War I backdrop becomes particularly pertinent: it perfectly reflects the growing unease and tumultuousness in the village and reiterates the subject of lost innocence.
The White Ribbon is a fairly long and slow movie, with a subtly creepy feeling that pervades the story. If it’s an action-packed thriller you want, this is not the movie; however I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys intelligent, beautiful film making and a good mystery.
The White Ribbon