Michael Haneke (writer and director) Das weisse Band—Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon) / 2009
In the small German village of Eichwald just before the outbreak of World War I the people appear to be God-fearing and hard-working citizens, obeying both the economic rule of the local Baron (Ulrich Tukur) and the religious values presented to them by their pastor (Burghart Klaußner). Through their families and school teacher (Christian Friedel), the children have been taught humility, purity, and, above all, obedience. Although Eichwald is a poor village, it is, on the surface, a model German community.
A short while later, an older working woman is killed on the Baron's property when a rotten floor gives way. The bereaved family, particularly the elder son, are convinced that the accident has been a result of carelessness on the part of the rich landowner, and the son "revenges" his mother's death on the day of the harvest celebration by destroying most of the cabbages in one of the Baron's plots. His crime, in turn, forces the family into near-starvation when the Baron refuses to further employ them.
Here, the story comes to a conclusion. The War has been declared, and the Teacher is inducted. The voice of an old School Teacher who has been telling this story, now a tailor, has never seen Eva again. He has no real evidence, moreover, of who may have committed all these acts so long in the past.
Los Angeles, January 3, 2010