Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
Jean, a farm lad, wants to escape his silent father; he runs to Paris to his older brother, Georges, who's away covering the war in Kosovo. Angry, he throws a bag of half-eaten pastry into ... See full summary »
A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.
Georges, who hosts a TV literary review, receives packages containing videos of himself with his family--shot secretly from the street--and alarming drawings whose meaning is obscure. He has no idea who may be sending them. Gradually, the footage on the tapes becomes more personal, suggesting that the sender has known Georges for some time. Georges feels a sense of menace hanging over him and his family but, as no direct threat has been made, the police refuse to help.... Written by
There is no music save for the theme on George's show. See more »
In the opening scene we see the Laurent residence from a stationary camera. Three roses are visible in a window box on the left. In the same setting late in the film after much passage of time, the roses are unchanged and in the same positions. See more »
Isn't it lonely, if you can't go out?
Why? Are you less lonely because you can sit in the garden? Do you feel less lonely in the metro than at home? Well then! Anyway, I have my family friend... with remote control. Whenever they annoy me, I just shut them up.
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Global Paranoia and Responsibility Made Very Personal
"Caché (Hidden)" uses the visual power of film to create an escalating examination of contemporary paranoia and personal global responsibility the way Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 film "The Conversation" did with sound and fictional criminals.
Writer/director Michael Haneke plays visual tricks on the audience as voyeurs from the opening shot, much as he did with "Code Inconnu," as he coyly plays with technology, building on the pervasive surveillance potential of our times.
The comfortable upper middle class life of married intellectuals Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche is more and more disrupted by spooky video and drawings from some kind of stalker. With a bit heavy-handed constant background TV news coverage about terrorism and other violence in the MidEast, as well as too much irony that Auteuil works on TV (evidently in yet another book discussion show like the central narcissist in "Look At Me (Comme une image)"), race is quickly introduced as a flash point in contemporary Paris from a brief street confrontation and reinforced with Auteuil's flashback dreams of his youth.
While the political angles are obvious, the Hitchcockian tension is very effectively built up (though not narratively resolved even as some secrets are revealed that lead to other inscrutabilities), not just as we see Auteuil repeatedly lie and Binoche practically disintegrate from nerves, but through sudden violence.
While we never understand who all is lying and who isn't, the film further plays on the truth that visual images don't in fact communicate the reality of a situation and can be misleading about relationships, particularly once paranoia has destroyed trust. The film also raises the question if people change their behavior if they know they are being watched and that you can't really hide from your past. Cynically, but perhaps honestly as opposed to in "Crash," here there is no easy resolution of acceptance of guilt and responsibility in personal lives any more than there is in the legacy of colonialism and racism.
Not only is the past never dead, but the film keeps repeating issues of not just am I my brother's keeper, but the sins of the father are revisited on the sons, such that it's important to keep watching even as the credits start to appear at the end (there was much shouting when some folks got up to leave too soon, blocking cryptic clues to those behind them).
The subtitles are very poorly done, with many scenes having them white on white, instead of the much easier to read yellow.
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