THE WHITE RIBBON
Disturbing, False Anti-Christian Thesis
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Starring: Christian Friedel, Leonie
Benesch, Ulrich Tukur, Fion
Mutert, Burghart Klaubner, and
Runtime: 144 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Michael Haneke
Executive Producer: Michael Katz
Producer: Stefan Amdt, Veit Heiduschka,
Margaret Menegoz, and Andrea
Writer: Michael Haneke
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
Meanwhile, the strict village pastor beats his teenage son and daughter with a cane in front of others for coming home late to supper. He makes them both wear a white ribbon for a year to help them to remember to be pure in their actions. He ties up the same teenage son to the bed at night to keep him from abusing himself sexually.
All of these actions are told through the eyes of the schoolteacher, a young man who becomes engaged to a nanny working for the Baron.
The schoolteacher tries to figure out what is behind all of these strange events but before he can, WWI breaks out and he is drafted, never to return to the village again. There are hints as to who did what to whom, but the mystery is left unresolved. The teacher/narrator at the start of the movie explains that he is telling the tale because it may explain what happened to his country. He is narrating in hindsight after the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. His thesis, and that of the movie, is that the strict Protestant influence created a society of victims who, in turn, became sadistic in nature. This group of teenagers grows up to become Nazi Germany. The teenagers in the story at the start of WWI are the adults of WWII.
THE WHITE RIBBON is well made and well directed. Shot in black and white, it creates a feeling that viewers are watching something from history. The director keeps his distance with the framing of the shots, except for victims. Most of the faces in close up are faces of the victims.
The movie’s humanist, anti-Protestant worldview is abysmal, vicious, and wicked. There is much mention of God, there are Christian symbols, and many scenes take place in the church building. But, the pastor is a sadistic, mean father who beats his children and explains to his son that he will die if he masturbates and must tie him up for his own good. This same teenage boy walks precariously along a bridge in order to “give God a chance to kill him.” The boy doesn’t fall, so he assumes God must not be mad at him.
The Schoolteacher/Narrator says that the mysteries were never solved, though there were rumors. The doctor was probably attacked because he was committing incest with his teenage daughter and the daughter’s suitor probably tried to kill him. The older teenage boy probably opened the window to expose the infant. The Baron’s son was beaten probably in revenge for the farmer’s wife who fell in the barn. And, the mentally handicapped boy was probably beaten and blinded simply for fun by the village teenagers.
The movie has many deaths, beatings, and screams behind closed doors. The teenagers take their first communion after being diligently taught by their father/pastor, but the movie views them as victims and victimizers, not new believers in Jesus Christ.
While it is true that Nazi Germany in many ways did not have a moral conscience, it is completely false to say it was caused by Christianity. Adolf Hitler’s ideology, and the ideology of his National Socialist Party, was an anti-capitalist, semi-socialist, and anti-Christian Romantic worldview that supported intense nationalism, racism, and big government. Under Hitler’s leadership, the Nazi Party advocated the transfer of social welfare programs from churches to the State. That is how Hitler’s plan to promote euthanasia and, eventually, extermination of “undesirable” people began.
THE WHITE RIBBON is an abhorrent movie that slanders Protestant Christianity. Media-wise viewers will reject it.
THE WHITE RIBBON is well made and well directed. Shot in black and white, it creates the feeling that viewers are watching history. There is much mention of God, there are Christian symbols, and many scenes take place in church. But, the pastor is a sadistic, mean father who beats his children and ties up his son to keep him sexually pure. This movie sends the abhorrent and extremely politically correct message that Protestant Christianity is to blame for Hitler and World War II. Media-wise viewers will reject this false, horrible message.