Tag Archives: Michael Haneke

The White Ribbon

At a rural school in northern Germany in 1913, a form of ritual punishment has major consequences for students and faculty. But the practice may have bigger repercussions on the German school system — and maybe even on the growth of fascism. Celebrated Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke helms this Golden Globe-winning drama.

Rating: 3 out of 10

If there was some extra white ribbon, I’d use it to hang myself.

This is one of those typical German films — dark to the core, ambivalent in its story telling, and full of itself. I’d say there’s little redeeming value in “The White Ribbon” and I found it to be not only drab, but boring without point. In fact, I can barely tell you what it’s about in a nutshell, and didn’t even get it all when watching — and I speak German!

This film is made by celebrated director Michael Haneke, who won the coveted Golden Palm Award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. In 2005, he won best director and his first Golden Palm at Cannes for “Hidden.” “The White Ribbon” got a slew of awards from film festivals around the globe. Roger Ebert is one of my heroes, but he’s one of the critics who got caught up in what this movie is to critics rather than the public. He gave this film 4 out of 4 stars.

I’ll try to sum it up like this: it’s a depressing movie where a lot of dark characters have a lot of bad things happen, there’s no conclusion, and nothing to keep you engaged as an audience member. This movie doesn’t even have color!