Wednesday, February 17, 2010


In German with English subtitles.
Original title: Das weiße Band

Burghart Klaußner: the pastor
Steffi Kühnert: his wife Anna
Maria-Victoria Dragus: their oldest daughter Klara
Leonard Proxauf: her brother Martin
Rainer Bock: the village widowed doctor
Roxane Duran: his daughter Anna
Susanne Lothar: the village midwife
Ulrich Tukur: the baron
Ursina Lard: his wife the baroness Marie-Louise
Leonie Benesch: Eva, nanny to their children
Christian Friedel: the school teacher

At the risk of giving away too much of the plot let me simply say that the three men who rule over the village are each in their own way sadistic, cruel, detestable, despicable people. Consequently often what they do and say is disturbing and difficult to watch to the point at times I cringed at what transpired on screen.

With strange events happening in a small closed community and clues that are not easy to discern you really have to work at it to “solve” the mystery.

At times the action slows to the point that there is absolutely nothing happing on screen. Case in point: the camera is pointed at a closed door and perhaps 15 seconds later a child emerges, walks pass the camera and about half a minute later walks back past the camera and re-enters the room and only 15 seconds later do we hear a scream. In the absence of any attempt at editing the film drags on interminably for two and a half hours. A lot of people do not have the patience for this technique frequently seen in “art movies”. In fact I cannot recall the last time I saw so many patrons leave the theatre part way through.

One more thing: many will be unhappy with the way it ends but relieved that it does.

for sexual content.

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