The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band) (2009)

The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)



Critic Consensus: The White Ribbon effectively utilizes tension and a bleak atmosphere to deliver a thought-provoking examination of nascent fascism.

Movie Info

Set in a Northern German village before World War I during the decline of the Austro-Hungarian empire, depicts the emergence of national socialism.

Rating: R (for some disturbing content involving violence and sexuality)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Haneke, Jean-Claude Carriere
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 29, 2010
Box Office: $2.1M
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


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News & Interviews for The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)

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Critic Reviews for The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)

All Critics (138) | Top Critics (31)

As for Haneke's handling of the material, his directing is immaculate. Every moment is the product of a penetrating mind and a steady talent.

Full Review… | September 20, 2012
The New Republic
Top Critic

It magnetizes us through profound degrees of mystery, psychology, dramatic intensity and perceptive dialogue, and then still retains enough power after the closing credits to leave us in thoughtful contemplation of its more cerebral perspectives.

Full Review… | May 27, 2015

After reflecting on the film awhile, I found that I had been drawn into its beauty and its mystery too much not to give it at least a slight recommendation.

Full Review… | September 24, 2012

This film is a total drag to watch. It is slow. It is dark. It is depressing, and it seems as though it is never going to end. It is torture to sit through this film. It runs 144 minutes and seems twice that long.

Full Review… | January 19, 2011
Laramie Movie Scope

The White Ribbon is Michael Haneke's masterpiece. It is not a movie about abstract concepts or a director's power over his characters - well, at least it's not just about those things.

Full Review… | October 21, 2010

Un inquietante cuadro social, filmado en riguroso blanco y negro, y una reflexión sombría y perturbadora sobre el origen del mal, o al menos de cierto tipo de males.

Full Review… | October 7, 2010
Uruguay Total

Audience Reviews for The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)


Michael Haneke has pushed the bounds of what is and could be considered going too far in the film medium, which is his whole mantra. He brings us The White Ribbon, something like if you took elements from The Crucible, Schindler's List, and Jesus Camp blended it together, and put it all in German with a drained out final image with a dash of fascism, unknown motives and religious fundamentalism. This extraordinarily stark and innovative film comments very boldly and brashly on "the origin of every type of terrorism, be it of political or religious nature." The acting is decidedly honest and quite life-like. The cinematography continues to add layers to the reality of the film and Haneke's direction couldn't be more appropriate to bring his screenplay to life. And the filmmaking style of this film is pure Haneke, utilizing long takes, tracking shots and manipulating the world in front of the camera to unsettle you and provoke thought, very few directors can achieve this multiple times, he achieved it with both renditions of his film Funny Games, and he most certainly did it here. Brava.

Matthew Roe
Matthew Roe

Super Reviewer

A nuanced, demanding film about small-town secrets that rivals the best stories of Alice Munro or William Faulkner, in which characters' lines are cutting, doom is just around the corner, and the individuals' respective stories continue to surprise as each reveals itself to be related to the others in larger frame, the life of a town (Eichwald) and the narrating school teacher. Great story, well told, and though it's lean (basically, one setting over one year, and a deservedly abrupt ending), there's a lot going on here, plot-wise and meaning-wise, with symbolism and metaphysical engagement to spare. Reminded me, too, of Hitchcock, in that the most horrific is the off-stage stuff, and for a reason that I hope is more than "because it's European and in black and white," Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal... and, though set in pre-WWI Germany, it's a story that has no trouble resonating today because of its (unfortunately) universal subject matter. A worthy Palme d'Or winner that moves slowly but stays captivating all the way. Definitely a film you should see.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


The White Ribbon is a dark, depressing account of human nature and innate, or learned, violence. Eerily beautiful, but the meanings and metaphors are too subtle, vague, and complex. Perhaps a metaphor to human nature itself? Enigmatic.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band) Quotes

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