03 March 2011

White ribbon

I haven’t written anything original in a while. I mostly just recycle other people’s genius. I’m going to Chile soon, so expect original material about that at some point. But don’t hold your breath. I’m also soon to join the 30 Club, but I’m fairly apathetic about that, so I won’t be raging about my fear of aging or anything.

On to another topic, I watched White Ribbon the other night. It’s a German language film, maybe a year or two old, and shot in black and white. It’s about strange and brutal happenings in a small town on the eve of WWI. People are mysteriously injured or disappear, children kidnapped and beaten, property destroyed. Being in black and white, it was visually beautiful. There was nothing graphic about it, all the violence happened off screen and we only see the aftermath and hear about it via narration. For me, it had shades of the book Wisconsin Death Trip, where it seemed that maybe everyone was infected in a way by some brutal insanity. It also reminded me of The Bad Seed (one of my mom’s favourite movies, she and her sister can act it out for you if you’re crazy enough to ask them to) because there are heavy implications that some of the village children are behind much of the chaos.

It took me awhile to figure out who all the kids were, and who their parents were, and where their parents fit in the town’s hierarchy. Once I had that straight, I found the story really compelling and I kept guessing who was behind all the attacks. Unfortunately, I kept guess right through to the end and I’m still guessing. They don’t really reveal who did it. There are implications, and the narrator talks about some rumours that went around, but nothing that definitely identifies a person or persons as being responsible. Maybe I’ve become a lazy movie watcher and I need things spelled out for me, but I didn’t feel that the movie as it is really has an ending. For me, it just kind of stopped and I’m left asking “What? Why? Who?”

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