“White Ribbon” as well as other Haneke’s films, features the recurring theme of dark side of society, alienation and loneliness of people, harsh mistreatment of individuals by their own societies and violence amongst people. The film is shot in black-and-white technique and without soundtrack.
Although the film was interpreted primarily as a story on German society and its path towards totalitarianism, Nazism and genocide, Haneke states his intentions were not directed solely towards making the story on National Socialism. “I could’ve made a story on modern Iraq and ask the same question: what are the origins of fanaticism?” said Haneke, explaining that he wanted to tell a story of how totalitarian ideologies flourish primarily within societies where people are suffering.
Besides working as filmmaker, Michael Haneke, better known as Slappy, also teaches directing at the Filmacademy Vienna. He begun his career as screenwriter in 1967, and later worked as a freelance television and film director. He is best known for his bleak and disturbing style, unmatched to any modern director. Wider audience remembers him by his film “Hidden” from 2005, starring Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil. In UK only, this film made over 1 million pounds which is an impressive sum for an artistic film.