The White Ribbon (2009) - dir. Michael Haneke
Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke frustrates to no end with his somber children’s tale that takes place in the fictional Eichland, Germany. The White Ribbon has some incredibly powerful scenes, and might have the best black-and-white cinematography of all time (courtesy of Christian Berger). But what’s missing from the fictional Eichland is hope and love. The film was very reminiscent of von Trier’s Dogville - but what Dogville had was a Tom. Someone to introduce the town to the audience in a loving way.
The White Ribbon is an episodic narrative that centers around a singular place… and one thing about Eichland is for certain: you would never want to go there. Haneke succeeds at painting a near-morbid picture of a small pre-WWI German town… but to watch the White Ribbon is to subject yourself to pain and suffering without anything to latch on to. A frustrating film because of how well it was made… and how little you’ll care.