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The White Ribbon(Das weisse Band)

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Germany, Austria, France · 2009
Rated R · 2h 24m
Director Michael Haneke
Starring Ursina Lardi, Ulrich Tukur, Burghart Klaußner, Christian Friedel
Genre Drama, Mystery

In rural Germany just before World War I, strange things are happening to a once-ordinary, authoritarian village society. First thought of as mere coincidence, these troubling acts become more and more frequent, and more and more disturbing in this chilling and hypnotic meditation on the nature of evil.

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What are critics saying?


The Hollywood Reporter by

It's a superb cinematic work and an appropriately serious one, given its subject matter and its intentions.


Empire by Damon Wise

A hard film to love, but a hypnotic meditation on all the elements -- gossip, religion, bullying -- that can turn a parish and country bad.


New York Magazine (Vulture) by David Edelstein

Chill to the core, Haneke presents human cruelty not to make us empathize with the victims or understand the oppressors but to rub our noses in the crimes of our species. He thinks he’s held on to the subversive ideals of punk, but all I smell is skunk.


Village Voice by J. Hoberman

Detailed yet oblique, leisurely but compelling, perfectly cast and irreproachably acted, the movie has a seductively novelistic texture complete with a less-than-omniscient narrator.


New York Daily News by Joe Neumaier

Haneke's superb cast provide beautifully measured hints at the disconnect between the ribbon's symbolism and the entire town's unspoken atrocities.


Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

This haunting film never pushes itself on you. It trusts you to suss out the horror that lies beneath the veneer of innocence. You'll be knocked for a loop.


Time by Richard Corliss

A kind of mashup of "Our Town" and "Village of the Damned," the film is both draining and enthralling.


Variety by Todd McCarthy

Immaculately crafted in beautiful black-and-white and entirely absorbing through its longish running time, Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon nonetheless proves a difficult film to entirely embrace.

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