PR, Films and Fantasies

The White Ribbon

Posted on: May 10, 2010

Last week I watched a movie that simply puzzled me. It scared me, thrilled me, made me wonder and left me in complete doubt by slightly opening a window to let the storm in.

I had the White Ribbon in my dvd collection for a few weeks now, but by the judge of its cover I figure I had to be in a certain mood to watch it. I also knew that the scenes were filmed close to Arad, in a village in Romania (and the director actually came back and rewarded all the villagers a few months ago, after winning numerous awards, like Palme D’Or at the 2009 Cannes).

White is the color of innocence and the white ribbon worn by tormented teenagers is meant to show purity or complete dedication to the word of God (more likely to it’s interpretations by fanatic 20 century) and the older ones (parents and all the village’s “institutions” – school teacher, priest and doctor). But when everything is simply a pose and the terrible things that happen behind the scenes are so shocking that could disturb any normal human mind, it’s obvious that society rots from the inside starting with the youngest and most inventive ones.

I don’t want to spoil the plot, it’s just that only after some research I realised the great depth of this film which ends the day the World War begins… after the war, Germany becomes the terror land everybody talks about. Now, what Michael Haneke tells us subtly is that the Nazi have deeper roots than we, the outsiders, know… Could it be that all the political atrocities (just as the religious ones) come from decades and decades of emotional censorship in order to keep to a moral code based on beatings and threats?

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