Das weisse Band

Das weisse Band

Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte

DVD - 2010 | German
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In a north German village prior to the outbreak of World War I, strange events, accidents, and deaths are occurring. The village people are beside themselves with worry and can't figure out what to do. After the school teacher starts to unravel the mystery, he discovers that the children of the town may be guilty of the crimes and have formed a secret society that the local pastor's daughter appears to be the leader of.
Publisher: Culver City, Calif. : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, [2010]
Branch Call Number: DVD 833 WEI GERMAN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 144 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in
Language Note: In German with optional English subtitles

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Zampano1
May 16, 2018

This movie is very somber. It is a compelling story about a small northern German village just before WWI. I was intrigued by the "accidents" and the many interesting characters. Burghart Klaussner plays the town pastor - you may remember him in the German film, The People vs. Fritz Bauer. Beautiful cinematography. I understand the director studied Ingmar Bergman films to get the black and white details down.

I could not finish watching film. Two German films I enjoyed better on 19th and early 20th century village life under Baron rule are Edgar Reitz' "Home From Home" and Werner Herzog's The Enigmas of Klaus Barber.

Vreeah_Nuw May 23, 2014

This is my first German pov (i.e. non-american made) film, and first foreign flick in a long time. I kept an open mind throughout keeping up with the subtitles. Some of the subject matter discussed/experienced by the characters is even relevant today, only the way they are dealt with differ from even other cultures of the same era. It is a perverse film, which tugs at the manipulative-vain sided nature of children, such that of today's youth. At times it reminded me of M Night Shyamalan's The Village, I didn't even notice the B&W untill about maybe 20 min. in. This just may be one of those movies that must be viewed a second time to get subtleties. I recommend to those who are active viewers, with intent to get into the characters' heads. I am still thinking about the motives and possible culprits!

btmslt Mar 12, 2013

A far to slow moving film which I did not finish watching.

xaipe Mar 07, 2013

This is not a movie for fans of modern American films with fast-paced dialogue, special effects, car chases and pat, reassuring resolutions to problems. It’s a whodunit without a who and a whydunnit without an answer. The viewer never learns who or why the person or persons are doing the sudden maliciously spiteful acts that occur, but that’s not the point of Haneke’s film. The setting is a remote, rural, outwardly calm village in 1913 Germany. Gradually, the dysfunctional and deeply repressive nature of the town is revealed. The black and white film, direction, and camerawork is strongly reminiscent of German films of that era. We see a similar style in some of Werner Herzog’s early films. The movie is narrated in retrospect in a voiceover by the local teacher who is now an old man. He remarks that these painful events “could perhaps clarify some of the things that happened in this country” which suggests that this may be a parable of what led up to the nazification of Germany. The teacher’s narration takes place after two world wars caused by German aggression. But can the puzzling events clarify anything? Are they being accurately remembered or not? We must depend on his memory and memory is notoriously unreliable. The movie scenes are deliberately ambiguous. Is the white ribbon worn by the pastor’s children a symbol of the Jewish yellow star, or the Nazi armbands? Or both? Or neither? There is a creepy, sociopathic quality to many of the scenes. The scene where a small boy wakes in the middle of the night and wanders around in a darkened, ominous house before he stumbles upon his father and sister in a scene of ambiguous horror is unforgettable. This movie is a portrayal of a claustrophobic, stifling society where the viewer longs for some fresh air and escape from a sickness which manifests on a much larger scale. Even the German title, "Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte" which translates as "A German Children's Story" is ambiguous and ironically cynical. Modern Germans still live under the enormous shadow of so many unanswered questions, unexpired resentment, and the frustration of not getting a solution to the “who” and the “why” even now so many years later. In the end, as in life, there is no solution to the mystery which makes this such a brilliant film. The frustration of the viewer mirrors the frustration of a generation still seeking answers.

Froster Jun 26, 2012

Finally Haneke does things right, and his provocative, cerebral approach to film is matched by passion. The enigmatic, unresolved quality of this movie is its very point. History itself will resolve the repressive, small-minded milieu of pre-war Germany, and the world will be the worse for it. The poisonous atmosphere of this village is the real culprit in the crimes portrayed, and Haneke makes this atmosphere both palpable, and surprisingly natural. No tricks up his sleeve this time, and he really delivers a knock-out.

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Vreeah_Nuw May 23, 2014

Vreeah_Nuw thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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