Friday, 15 January 2010

Das Weisse Band

A small village in Northern Germany, 1913. Life is as it has always been: the landowner exploits his suffering labourers, the labourers all have many mouths to feed, the local vicar instills fear and obedience in the people while raising his children with stern words and a whip, the widowed local doctor fucks his assistant and the young school teacher falls in love with the new nanny who takes care of the landowner's children.
Suddenly, accidents happen: the doctor has a strange accident while riding his horse, the landowner's son is brutally beaten, a window is opened next to a newborn baby on a very cold night, and the handicapped son of the doctor's assistant is found half-dead tied to a tree.
In two and a half beautiful hours, filmed in black and white, Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte ("The White Ribbon - a German children's tale") tells the story of life in this village. The film asks many questions which are left unanswered - at the end we still do not know who is responsible for all the incidents and accidents. But we witness how a very strict upbringing, unjust social and economic relations between the classes and a religion of fear that lacks love and compassion all work together to create an evil generation.
A beautiful movie.

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