Who do you think was responsible for all of the violent incidents in "The White Ribbon"??
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October 09, 2010
Sorry I am late for this question. Things have been real hectic on my end. Anyway, I don't think it was any one or single group of persons responsible for the mysterious incidents in the film. I do think that some adults were responsible for some of the odd occurences (such as the woman who went to report to the police), the trap in the barn, and others. I do think that the kids were responsible for some of the incidents that involved the other children--but it wasn't so simple. The community itself was guilty.
I think Haneke meant the answer to be a little more intangible; it is the matter of considering the lifestyle in that small estate that in the end provoked a lot of the weird events. I guess Haneke wanted to viewer to see past the easy answer and to allow the viewer to see what blind faith and reliance to tradition can easily mislead and make folks blind to the real truth. The one responsible for all the violent incidents was innocence lost, the designs of tradition and the inepitude of people (denial of the truth and tyrannical values). It is the product of a reaction to suppression.