The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band) (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band) Photos

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:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Christian Friedel
as The Schoolteacher
Ulrich Tukur
as The Baron
Ursina Lardi
as Marie-Louise, the Baroness
Fion Mutert
as Sigmund
Michael Kranz
as The Tutor
Burghart Klaussner
as The Pastor
Steffi Kühnert
as Anna, the Pastor's Wife
Johanna Busse
as Margarete
Yuma Amecke
as Annchen
Gabriela Maria Schmeide
as Emma, the Steward's Wife
Enno Trebs
as Georg
Josef Bierbichler
as The Steward
Theo Trebs
as Ferdinand
Rainer Bock
as The Doctor
Eddy Grahl
as Karli
Branko Samarovski
as The Farmer
Susanne Lothar
as The Midwife
Kai Malina
as Karl
Bianca Mey
as Paula
Mika Ahrens
as Willi
Ernst Jacobi
as The Narrator, The School Teacher
Detlev Buck
as Eva's father
Anne-Kathrin Gummich
as Eva's mother
Luzie Ahrens
as Schoolgirl
Gary Bestla
as Schoolboy
Leonard Boes
as Schoolboy
Sophie Czech
as Schoolgirl
Paraschiva Dragus
as Schoolgirl
Selina Ewald
as Schoolgirl
Nora Gruler
as Schoolgirl
Tim Guderjahn
as Schoolboy
Jonas Jennerjahn
as Schoolboy
Ole Joensson
as Schoolboy
Gerrit Langentepe
as Schoolboy
Lena Pankow
as Schoolgirl
Sebastian Pauli
as Schoolboy
Franz Rewoldt
as Schoolboy
Alexander Sedl
as Schoolboy
Nino Seide
as Schoolboy
Marvin Ray Spey
as Schoolboy
Malin Steffen
as Schoolboy
Lilli Trebs
as Schoolgirl
Paul Wolf
as Schoolboy
Michael Schenk
as Criminal Police Officer
Hanus Polak Jr.
as Criminal Police Officer
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)

All Critics (138) | Top Critics (32)

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

The White Ribbon is a stark, contemplative and hauntingly brilliant film.

Full Review… | February 25, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Writer-director Michael Haneke doesn't pull any punches, but then he doesn't throw any wild ones, either. His filmmaking shows precisely the sort of obsession with control that the movie itself is denouncing. Interesting, you've got to admit.

Full Review… | February 19, 2010
Detroit News
Top Critic

Haneke tells this tale a bit too patiently for my taste. But the metaphors are unmistakable, as is the power of the film's message.

February 17, 2010
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The White Ribbon lunges hungrily for serious art-film credibility. Don't be fooled.

Full Review… | February 11, 2010
Washington Post
Top Critic

Haneke has dramatized his intellectual conceits in an uninvolving, snail-paced movie that illustrates its themes in an obvious, almost banal manner.

Full Review… | February 11, 2010
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)

½

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
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

½

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

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