movie: the white ribbon

Director: Michael Haneke
Release Year: 2009

"I gave God a chance to kill me, and He didn't do it"
Martin, the White Ribbon

The White Ribbon tells a story of mysterious events that took place in a small village in the northern part of German. Narrated by a tailor, the story occurred around 15 months before the first world war. At that, he was a young school teacher.

Haneke (the writer) hardly named all the characters. They were mentioned as the Baron, the Teacher, the Priest, the Farmer, the Doctor or the Steward. The village, where crimes were committed without consequences. Haneke never reveals who was (were) behind all these crimes. Although at some occasions, names were mentioned, lines were drawn, but Haneke still leaves it to his audience to believe what they want to believe.

As he was trying to tell us that it doesn't matter who did it, but the idea that the crimes were committed in a small village without punishment. The community leaders of the village , the Baron and the Priest, seem failed to solve the matter. Their authority, seems to be evoked by what are important to our society, the Baron for his fortune and the Priest for he speaks in the name of God.

The White Ribbon was shot in color then altered during the post-production to black/white images. Not only it works, it's also brilliant. The White Ribbon is like watching a horror movie without any scary creatures. At each scene, I was waiting for something terrible to happen and when it didn't, I was super-glad. The real stars in this movie were the children. They made the Children of the Corn look like a group of toddlers. The movie and its setting reminds me of the Little House of Prairie, actually a twisted version.

I read so much about Haneke and his movies. Unfortunately, his movies were not easy to find. I was lucky to be able to watch this one. Haneke's movies are never about reasons. I don't get to ask why something occurred, but how the characters react, that makes the movies interesting. Maybe Haneke tries to tell us that (in his movies) tragedy and misery do exist.

His previous one, The Funny Game with Naomi Watts tells a story of young family was brutally murdered for no reason. The murders had no previous knowledge about the family and it's just a random act. This movie had successfully made me check my door every night before I go to bed ... until now.

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