The Baron who represents corporatism….He is uncaring about the death of a female worker due to negligence in his plants (the floorboards were rotted on an upper floor and she fell to her death) Later when one of the dead woman’s sons vandalizes a cabbage field out of anger….He fires the whole family and prevents them from working leading the father to commit suicide
The Pastor who represents religious hypocrisy….He beats his kids for being late and ties up his pubescent son’s hands at night to prevent him from masturbating….At the end, when the school teacher hero tells him of his suspicions that the kids of the village (including the pastor’s own) are behind everything, the pastor refuses to listen and threatens him if he tells anyone else.
The Doctor who represents male dominance….He molests his own daughter and treats his mistress very badly as well.
Of course, what this is really about is how Germany could produce a generation of people who would be Nazis….This environment of cruelty, hypocrisy, injustice, and barely repressed violence is exactly the breeding ground for recent German history as the narrator alludes to in the beginning.
But I thought of the US when I saw this movie….We have corporatists who care nothing about working people but only about concentrating wealth in the hands of board members….We have religious hypocrites who are going all out to prevent gay marriage but could care less when the US bombs other countries killing scores not to mention Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip….We have an overly sexualized society that has created a sense of frustration and amorality….How else to explain the pied piper to the dumb Sarah Palin being held up as the role model for the new right?
WHITE RIBBON is a great film and watching it I think America is at a crossroads….When the discussion of a more just and humane health care system and the extremely modest changes that were made is met with verbal bricks thrown such as the word “socialist” used as a pejorative, it shows the circle of cruelty in everyday life in America….I’m talking here about small town red state America with the added difference of kids who are exposed to everything and experience everything at a young age….If America doesn’t watch out, some of these children who don’t seem to understand the simplest concepts of morality and led by the Palins and Becks and Limbaughs of the world could take part in a very dark American fascist future….