White Ribbon, The (in German)

Rating = B

This is an interesting film which moves with deliberate slowness. It is a story about a small town in Germany before WWI, where we see economic oppression, religious fundamentalism, and authoritarian male heads of large families. All this involves great cruelty, and it appears the children of the village have learned lessons their lessons and are practicing cruelty themselves on anyone who is not one of them — not one of the locals. Also, the writer and director may be suggesting that the culture is preparing future generations to be receptive to the nationalistic cruelties Germany practiced in WWII.

Most of the real reviewers give this film four stars, commenting on the brilliance of the film making. It does seem well done. There is plenty of ambiguity, but in this case there are a little too many unanswered questions for my taste.

[2010-03-27, Cape Cinema, Dennis, MA]