A film that proceeds slowly and asks fundamental questions about the environmental origins of evil. The film slowly builds to a telegraphed climax and leaves you in reflective mood at it finish. Well worth a view and very worthy of its Cannes prize..
German black-and-white feature film, with some extra features on the same DVD.
Shows a mesh of human relationships (and alienations) in a village life, a multitude of characters.
The white ribbon meant to symbolize purity and innocence, very rare traits in human society, it seems...
A bit contemplative film; Nice cinematography..
Interesting movie. More of a 'year in the life of' type with no resolution or wrap up of all the characters and story lines. But interesting nonetheless.
You know those films that are slow and boring but you feel you have to keep watching as they are sure to get better - they never do, and this one is just like that...........this is one only the 'arty farty' could like
A well-deserved Palm d'Or award. With depth of insight into the propensity of human nature towards evil, noone but God can claim total immunity from the invasive power that is seen in its ultimate degredation of the society and culture skillfully portrayed in this remarkable film. Interviews in the Extras are certainly worth viewing.
Another great movie by Haneke.
Loved the way it was shot, but the mystery ultimately left us unsatisfied. We had our own theories, and maybe that is what it is intended to do. It shows the good and bad in people, especially children.
This movie had no suspense or climax. The viewer is left with many unanswered questions at the films end. I felt like I wasted my mind by watching this movie.
Very dour, depressing and bleak with no real resolution. The production values are very high, but in the end, there is a feeling of light dissatisfaction.
An odd movie which starts with so much promise but ends abruptly and, for this reviewer at least, with no resolution. In the early years of the 20th Century a German village functions as it has done for centuries. Then strange, violent and inexplicable things begin to occur. Is it a villager exacting revenge, is it a serial sadist or is it the strange group of children which live on the social margins of the town?
The Director has said that the film helps to explain the horrors of the Nazi years but this comparison was lost on me. While the film is shot beautifully and the acting is first rate, the story ends leaving the viewer baffled and pondering the point of it all.
Pretty awful. It you would like to be arty you could say that it is really dark but beautiful photography. I wouldn't.
Alright the photography is nice and the acting is great which also means the director knows what he was doing but gosh this movie is over 2 hours and the pace is so slow that it looks like nothing really happens or it happens with such slowness that it is hard to keep track. It is easy indeed to get sleepy between the quiet parts which is quite a pity considering the dramatic subject this movie is about. If you are looking for an action movie, well that's not it. By picking this movie, you know you will have to be real patient and attentive. It is all in German and with a voice over as this story is told by one of the characters young at the time. This movie is really hard to rate as it is well made, the acting and directing are very good however again this movie would have been better with half an hour or more less. Anyway didn't like it much but can't give more or less than 3 stars.
This DVD was sticking in several places. I had to fast forward to overcome the sticking and thereby lost the sense of some parts of the movie. Not impressed.
Very dark movie
Bleak but satisfying cinema. Stunning acting from child actors
Despite the synopsis saying otherwise the action in The White Ribbon is prior to WW1. The violence, cruelty, destruction and death in the film are a premonition, a foreboding of what is to come in the forthcoming war.
Really hard to know what to make of this film. Definitely not for the faint hearted and you have to be on your game to keep up and probably the reason I didn't enjoy it as much as others. There was a constant undercurrent of tension through the movie and anyone who doesn't like movies that leaves a lot of unanswered questions will most likely hate this film. I wish I had checked out the extras but also think a great film needs no explanation or justification.
A haunting film which is thought-provoking and frustrating in almost equal measures! It grapples with some big questions such as the nature of evil all set in a quiet village months before WW1. The part of me that demanded answers at the end of the film had to be reminded that it is the characters and the relationships, not the destination that counts. 4 stars.
Watch this for a Hanneke movie not making you feel queezy. Still has got plenty of under current, with lot's of grainy elements and punch. Story seems not as important as the character being studied. A masterpiece in any language.
I find Michael Haneke's movies a mixed bag. That said, I think this is up there with his best, like Cache and The Piano Teacher. You have to watch this movie at least twice to pick up all the little clues which Haneke cheekily places throughout. No, this is not a popcorn movie - it requires active participation by the viewer, which I suspect puts a lot of people off. Like most Haneke movies, there is no easy, glib, paint-by-numbers resolution.
Ultimately this is a movie which attempts to deal with Germany's militaristic past. The children realise they are being turned into inhuman automatons, and strike back at their elders. This movie is more horrifying than any of those silly psycho-children B-grade horror movies of the 70's and 80's.
The black and white cinematography is stunning (although it was actually shot in colour, then converted to B&W post-production).
A petty criminal and 'lost soul' receives an ugly education in prison from the big boys. Quite a good prison drama that is notable for the performance of the lead. A story of redemption of sorts. 3.5 stars
started to watch it but then relized was not in english , had i known this would never of put into my queue , this has hapened before , so anoying
A bizarre and intriguing tale of morality; a true reflection of the historically isolated cultures and communities? Maybe. If anything, the film presents a series of drawn out tests of our own moral judgements. A little too uneventful and open ended.
Well acted & filmed but not a great film & story line. Left waiting for more!
A powerful evocation of the cruelty that exists in us all. By taking a detached position in relation to what he sees Haneke reinforces our indifference and cowardice in the face of evil. His lack of intervention in shameful activities
underlines our prevailing xenophobia and lack of moral courage. A masterpiece.
found this movie hard to keep up with , diffiecult to keep up with the english written script, though mysterious in many ways, well worth watching
the producer , director , script writer and most of the actors are in the wrong industry
Not sure this was quite as deep and mysterious as some reviewers make out. Fairly simple morality tale about the negative effects on children of repressive and abusive parents. Interesting enough story.
This is a slow suspense film with no end. You think it is going to have some almighty revelation and then nothing. I did not enjoy this film and giving you the outline of the film would not ruin it, but there really isn't one. Stuff happens, no end, that is it.
But I was left wondering:
Did he marry the young girl?
Who abused the Downs Syndrome boy?
Why were the victims chosen?
Who was doing all this?
To what end?
I saw it at the cinema, so I wasn't party to the mini doco that others have mentioned on the DVD which gave some explanations. I found it beautiful, slow, ponderous, frustrating, and far too long, but it certainly stays in the mind.
must have ordered this by mistake.only subtitle foreign films i watch are martial arts
White Ribbon is a study of life in pre WW1 Germany by the director who brought us beauties like The Piano Teacher and Funny Games. The story is rather slow and the relationship between children and their parents paint a harsh picture of Teutonic Times. It is certainly not a movie for thrill seekers. It leaves an indelible mark, however. The director chose for black and white, which gives the picture a wonderful alienating atmosphere.
The white ribbon leaves you wishing the ending was resolved, so that you didn't have to ponder what the real truth was behind the evil happenings in this idyllic pre WW1 town! Great film, would highly recommend if you don't mind mysteries that are not solved, but can ponder in one's imagination for hours!! It left me hanging for more.
Unusual with great acting. Artistic piece with interesting story-line. I'd classify as arthouse. Worth watching the interview with director etc after seeing..
My husband is a bit of a war buff and thought this would be interesting, but he only watched the first twenty minutes and gave it up as a joke. It was boring rubbish.
I was enjoying the intrigues of this one until it ended; except that it didn't end it just stopped. Reading the other reviews I wish I still had the disc to watch it again and look for the explanation.
I like this film more now than I did while watching it. After it was over, we watched the special features, and Haneke explained what it was all about. I could see what he was getting at once I heard him say it, but it was far too subtle for me to pick up on while actually seeing the film. I watched it four days ago, and I'm still thinking about it, so in that sense it was a very good movie. It's not super entertaining, but it will make you think. I also find myself reading news stories and saying "see? this is exactly what The White Ribbon was about". Watch the featurette for an explanation of it after the fact.
Beautifully shot but tedious.
Enjoyable although I think I would have concentrated better on the subtitles in a cinema. In the lounge room I kept being distracted by things happening around the house and would miss the subtitle. If you enjoy foreign films, you will enjoy this.
I hated this movie at the time, with no clear conclusion at the end, however on reflection in the days following, I have found it thought provoking. For me, this is the sign of an excellent movie. Beautifully shot and brilliant acting, this movie rated very highly for me.
why do aussies make movies
I was intrigued by this film. At first I didn't quite know what I thought of it because I felt that I had missed something deeper within it in the way of an explanation as to what was going on ... however, having now read the critic's review along with all the other member's reviews, I am pleased to find that pretty much everyone else was searching for a meaning also. It appears (from the other reviews) that this is what Heneke is all about - thus I can now rate it highly - being aware now that it is meant to keep us delving into our own feelings and understanding of the experiences of the village and testing our judgement and beliefs, as well as forcing us to think, and then test our thinking even further. Absolutely wonderful. I loved the B
I enjoyed the film, certainly interesting seeing european village in the early 20th century. I was frustrated at the ending, even though I understand the value of leaving us to think for ourselves, I felt that I wanted to know more. Maybe that was the point lol.
A very different film from any that I have seen before, interesting and thought provoking.
A very unusual, intriguing film that definitely won't appeal to mainstream audiences. Shot in B
... amazing 2.5 hours ... love every second of this movie ... such a powerful story ... that can be found anywhere around us even these days ...
Slow at times but the crucial scenes stay with you long after it's over
Wonderful film making. Every scene in the film is brilliantly conceived, the actors are superb, and the result is a very quiet, simple story about the darkness beneath the surface in a German village. Camera work is very careful and deliberate. Black and white works really well. The psychological dimension that Haneke brings to his films is probably disturbing to us because he is honest and understands the origins of the bad things people do.
I think a fair bit was lost in the translation. I honestly don't think kids are capable of being so evil. There were lots of questions left unanswered, but I think that was the director's idea. A bit too artsy fartsy for me!
This "gruesome" film shows the unrelenting influence religion had in the early 20th century German people. The story of repression is a bit drawn out for me though.
Beautiful and haunting.
If you are tasteless, artless and boring this film is not for you.
You need to want toe think and to explore.
I am a huge fan of Michael Haneke and this film didn't disappoint. There is a strange creepiness to the town and the cast. I love the sense of foreboding. Enjoyed Haneke once again not providing all of the answers, it's a pleasure to be left wondering.
Michael Haneke is undoubtedly a brilliant auter and a great arthouse and film festival favourite but his films are unrelentingly grim and depressing. He sees himself as an artist rather than a film technician for whom "Art is not about explanations or easy answers, art is about raising questions" ( I paraphrase Haneke from the documentary found on The White Ribbon disc.) Entertainment ain't what Haneke is about.
The problem with this is that, after two hours of slow but tantalising exposition that ratches up the tension, there is no payoff or resolution for the audience. This criticism applies also Cache, his best known film. The White Ribbon is a fascinating journey that builds and builds but ultimately goes nowhere. A bit lke life, I guess.
disturbing original flic with no easy answers
Re3freshing change from predictable US box office gross
Hauntingly disturbing but unresolved.....too many unanswered questions
This is a formidable film.
Life in a German village in 1913 is not what it seems at first glance. A train of atrocities occur and noone knows who the perpetrator is. Repression and violence abounds in this Protestant heartland where the church is attended by all villagers. The tension is palpable. The film is in black and white evokes the period and adds to the feeling of iciness that underlies the structure of the society. This film is more thrilliing than any "thriller" and more scary than any "horror" film.
I was mesmerised, totally drawn in and left wondering about the meaning of many elements. All the hallmarks of a great film.
the worst movie ever , not a begin and not a end.
It all ends with an overload of narration, where it's not obvious what's actually relevant to the story we have just seen. The story itself - of village life in the early part of the 20th century - has several interwoven strands and it's difficult to understand what's actually happening. But maybe that's the whole point: to try and make sense of it all. Whether it's worth the effort is debatable.
A brilliant film with a powerful message. Although the story takes place in a little village in Germany on at the eve of the 1st world war one can see how repression and cruelty shown to people and vulnerable children shape society. The message is universal and prophetic about the Germany to come.
I particularly loved the cinematography and the use of black and white. It added to the documentary narrative style. Some scenes were so beautiful I felt like freeze framing to just enjoy the beauty.
This is a strong film with a powerful message that stayed with me.
This is a film for people who love cinematography, characters, hidden meanings and symbolism - yes you.
It's a beautiful film noir picture with close insights into a small village in Germany, where the seemingly sweet, christian residents in the street, have a darker story to tell at home.
It's a film which highlights the root of evil, ingrained in traumatic family situations, from psychological - physical abuse and is told retrospectively by a young teacher who listens to those around him but is still deceived by the people he trusts.
A very strange film. The black and white was a little hard to watch, although I guess it gave it some authenticity. Quite a slow film and I'm not quite sure of the point of it, however, it did keep me watching until the end, so it must have maintained some degree of suspense. I could have given this one a miss.
Stark and gripping in a way that few movies can portray. This is a movie that will keep you thinking for days afterwards. Brilliant photography and acting brings it all into a tight knit package. Perhaps not for everyone, but everyone should see it because it has the rare ability to show us how pure evil can manifest itself into our lives. It's a wake up call without the religious dogma attached.
A mysterious, distubing, atmospheric masterpiece. A series of mysterious
events occur in a small German village that eventually lead to the unwravelling of a number of individuals, family and community relationships. Set at the time of events leading up to WWI. The village social structure, and inhabitants attitudes also pre-empt the eventual rise of Nazism after WWI. It is a disturbing film in many ways, filmed in stunning black and white which adds to the atmosphere of the setting. Great performances all round especially from the children who are both vulnerable and menacing in their portrayals. The mystery and speculation will continue for the viewer after the film ends. Highly recommended.