The White Ribbon (2009)

After all the awards and hype, I’m left fairly unmoved. I think I’m just not a fan of the director; I disliked Funny Games, disliked The Piano Teacher, and think Cache is vastly overrated. Michael Haneke is just not for me, and The White Ribbon is further proof of this fact. This is two and half-hours of incidents. Supposedly, since its victory at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, this movie was dubbed as a case study examining the beginnings of antisemitism as a small German town undergoes a series of mysterious violent assaults and vandalism. I don’t know how in the world this explores any sort of psychological group think to later clarify Germany’s willingness to accept Hitler’s demands. All this movie does is show yet another example of teenagers rebelling. In typical Haneke fashion, characters can be unbelievably cruel to one another at the flick of a switch. Nothing really adds up and the pacing is so mind-numbingly deliberate to showcase the world of pre-World War I Germany. So when people leave the room we watch them walk off screen, hear their off screen noises, then they return and go off screen again and we can repeat the same jolly waiting game. I understand the artistic thought behind it, but I’d be much more forgiving if Haneke had developed a story and some characters worthy to wait for. This is a plodding and conceited exercise that reveals next to nothing about the human condition for cruelty, because, chiefly, you don’t really believe that these people exist nor do you care.

Nate’s Grade: C


About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on February 10, 2010, in 2009 Movies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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