The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band: Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte)

Director Michael Haneke has a well deserved reputation for disturbing cinema, mostly after Funny Games, and The White Ribbon is a dark disturbing film too, but for very different reasons.

The story of a small village blighted by incidents – the doctor’s horse brought down by trip wire, children abducted and beaten – provides a strong, but conventional horror narrative. Linking horror to religion is conventional too, but this is not a film about mystical demons to be driven out at the sight of a cross.

These demons are far more real, the conspirators cold, calculating and somehow logical. The righteous are to blame, of course, but will never be exposed.

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