Festival de Cannes 70: Das weiße Band, 2009

A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.

The White Ribbon is by its own declaration a German children’s story (Das weiße Band, Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte). But it’s no fairy tale. Or at least, not as we know it. Set in the early 20th century, some time not long before World War I, in a small German village where the simple life is diluted with strange goings-on. This is not a thriller, nor a horror. The patiently-paced story seems to portray villagers of all ages, and age has no barrier to ask why or respond to the bad things that happen. At times it feels like a collection of harmonious short-stories scattered for harvest, their relation to one another not in question. A series of beautiful photographs capturing these terrible things, wonderfully crafted characters, and the importance of wondrous innocence. Michael Haneke‘s direction and writing, accompanied by the marvel that is Christian Berger’s black and white cinematography, gifts us story-telling that is never ever laborious or unappealing in its duration. A real gem indeed. A masterpiece you might say.

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