Saturday, October 31, 2009

Incipient Fascism

By Chase Kahn

Without question the most anticipated movie of this holiday/awards-season rush, for me, is Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon". Stuart Klawans' New York Times 10.30 piece on the film addresses already raised questions about whether Haneke's latest film, a black-and-white period film set in a 1914 village in Northen German just before the onset of World War I, is a precursor to Nazism.

According to the piece, an early voice-over offers the advice that his story might "clarify some things that happened later in our country." Of course, Haneke, like any great filmmaker, offers vague, halfway answers to the questions, but from the majority of reviewers, historians and the like, the film is certainly an attempt to portray this 1914 German Protestant community as an insight into the rise of fascism.

"The White Ribbon" won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and opens on 12.30 in NY and LA, 01.29 in my neck of the woods.

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