Submitted by Julio M
Best Foreign Language Nominee
The White Ribbon
After the Midwife (Susan Lothar) begs the Teacher (Christian Friedel) to lend her his bike -which he was using that day to go visit his fiancée Eva (Leonie Benesch)-, so that she can go disclose to the authorities who is behind the unsettling violent acts that have been happening around the village, he becomes suspicious; more so, since she refused to share any details with him, prior to her rushed departure. When the Teacher notices her house closed and locked, with her disabled young son Karli (Eddy Grahl) alone inside; the children conspicuously trying to see how to open one of the lateral windows from the outside; and, furthermore, that the Doctor (Rainer Bock) and his daughter Anna (Roxane Duran) seem to have left town forever -a note on his front door reads SHUT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE-, he starts firmly believing that the children themselves might be guilty for all the mayhem.
He tries to have a conversation about the matter with Klara (Maria-Victoria Dragus) and Martin (Leonard Proxauf), both of whom claim not to understand; then, he gets to approach their father, the Pastor (Burghart Klaussner), and tells him directly how he is sure that not only did all the children know about these acts, but that they might have been collectively guilty of them, as well. In response, the Pastor angrily rebuffs the accusations, disowns the Teacher and threatens to report him to the authorities if he dared to share his theory with anyone else.
The disquiet generated by the gossip surrounding this whole scenario around the village ensues, at the same time that World War I breaks out. No one is ever formally accused of the violent acts. The Teacher himself gets drafted in 1917, leaves the town to never return and starts a shop after the death of his father.
The final scene shows a Sunday church service, with everyone in attendance, especially the Pastor (despite his threats, he never took them to effect, probably because he himself might have known about all these happenings, as well as it was heavily implied that the Doctor himself could have been a perpetrator, and that Karli could have been his own son, whom he never accepted); as the service starts and the choir sings, the screen slowly fades to black and the film ends.