Director Michael Haneke has a history of challenging audiences with unsettling films containing no easy answers (see: Funny Games, Caché or The Piano Teacher). His latest, the haunting and beautiful The White Ribbon —which won the Palme d’or at the Cannes Film Festival —is no exception, though it is perhaps the most accessible and watchable of the director’s recent films.
Shot in stark black and white, The White Ribbon is set in a small German village before the beginning of World War I. A number of strange and inexplicable accidents begin to occur (involving horses tripping over wires, barns burning down and some very unpleasant images), till it begins to seem that they aren’t all coincidental. We wouldn’t dream of spoiling any surprises, but we will say it’s a movie about innocence and corruption and the seeds of fascism, one that you’ll be left pondering long after the film has ended.
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