Nazi film wins top Cannes prize
Austrian director Michael Haneke wins Palme d'Or for The White Ribbon.
Last Modified: 25 May 2009 00:39 GMT
Austrian director Michael Haneke said the film was about "any form of fanaticism" [Reuters]

A film portraying the roots of Nazi violence in Germany has won the top prize at the world's biggest film festival.

The Palme d'Or was awarded to Austrian director Michael Haneke for The White Ribbon at the Cannes film festival in France on Sunday.

The White Ribbon is set in a small village in northern Germany just before World War I.

In the black-and-white film, a sinister series of crimes rocks the village and appears linked to a group of children abused by their parents.


Haneke said the film should not be interpreted as just being about Nazi ideology, but about any form of fanaticism.

"If you are making a German film then this age is an interesting one," he said.

"If the children are 10-15 years old in 1913-1914, then they are just the right age during the Nazi regime, and that was obviously the reason to do it in this time.

"But ... you can apply it to any form of fanaticism, whether Islamic or left-wing fascism. It comes in all forms."

He also said the film had a place in modern society where television tended to provide instant answers.

"If film wants to be an art form then its duty is to treat the viewers more seriously."

Prison drama A Prophet, by French director Jacques Audiard, received the runner-up prize at the 12-day film festival.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
Parents unable to look after children are marrying them off at a tender age, exposing them to maternal deaths.
A US outbreak of algae-produced biotoxins that attack animals'?? brains also poses a grave risk to humans.
Israel has re-arrested dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank, an act a human rights group says is 'unjustified'.
New measures needed as dozens of citizens fighting with Islamic State pose home-grown terror threat, PM Abbott says.
join our mailing list