->''"But I believe I must tell of the strange events that occurred in our village, because they may cast a new light on some of the goings-on in this country."''
-->-- '''Narrator'''

''The White Ribbon'' (''Das Weiße Band - Eine Kindergeschichte'') is a 2009 German Drama/Mystery film by Creator/MichaelHaneke. Strange events happen in a [[TownWithADarkSecret small village]] in the north of Germany during the years just before UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.

!!This film provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: The entire plot revolves around parental brutality, repression and abuse against children.
* CrapsackWorld: Systematic repression, child abuse, hierarchy, deprivation, and a grand total of about two sympathetic adult characters... and it's only [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI going]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII to]] [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany get]] [[FromBadToWorse worse]].
* CreepyChild: The only exception seems to be the Pastor's youngest
* ADateWithRosiePalms: The Pastor asks one of his sons if he masturbates. When the son admits that he does, the father has his hands tied to his bed at night.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: The movie was originally shot in color and then altered to black and white in post-production in order to [[WordOfGod create a distance from a false naturalism that suggests we know exactly what happened]].
* DeniedFoodAsPunishment: The Pastor denies the whole family dinner for his eldest two children's sin of staying out late.
* EnfantTerrible: [[spoiler: Near the end of the film, the schoolteacher theorises that the crimes might have been committed by the village children. The pastor bars him from investigating further, so we never find out if he's right or not.]]
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Most of the adults are not given names in the film, instead being called Pastor, Baron, Steward, etc. This includes the narrator, who is only known as The School Teacher.
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: The story is told from the view point of a secondary character (the school teacher). He admits that many details he only knows by hearsay.
* IgnoredEnamoredUnderling: The midwife would do anything for the doctor's love.
* {{Jerkass}}: The doctor towards the midwife.
* McGuffin: The crimes. Ultimately it's not about whodunit, but how a society will set itself up for evil.
* OnlySaneMan: The school teacher seems to be the only adult in the town without some dark secret or fanatical viewpoint. Though of course, [[UnreliableNarrator he is the one narrating the story...]]
* ParentalIncest: The doctor and his daughter.
* PrimAndProperBun: The go-to hairstyle of the women in the village is a tight, tidy bun, which together with their dark dresses mirrors the conservative atmosphere of this community. The Pastor's daughter has begun wearing her hair this way, but is compelled to revert to a braid while the humiliating punishment of wearing a white ribbon in her hair lasts.
* ReplacementGoldfish: When Piepsi the songbird dies, the Pastor's youngest offers the bird he has nursed to health to replace him. [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments Because his father seemed so sad]].
* {{Schoolmarm}}: The narrator is a male example.
* SilentCredits: There is no music or other sounds during the closing credits.
* TownWithADarkSecret: A village with an unsolved mystery.
* UnreliableNarrator: Possibly.
* TheUnsolvedMystery: We never learn who committed the crimes, leaving us with NoEnding.