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Parlez-vous esoteric plotlines?

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  • Parlez-vous esoteric plotlines?

    It is not often that horror films win awards. With that in mind, it practically goes without saying that Michael Haneke's "Caché" is not your ordinary horror film.

    This French film, about a man who receives packages containing videos of himself and his family (in a decidedly less stylized manner than David Lynch's "Lost Highway"), won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival and garnered both nominations and awards at several other festivals in 2005.

    The tapes lead Georges (played by French actor Daniel Auteuil), the host of a television literary review, on a personal journey through his past, forcing him to remember people and actions he had forgotten for nearly 30 years. As is often the case in movies, the local police are minimally helpful and the Laurent family must face the intrusions into their private lives without help. As he receives more tapes, Georges begins to investigate the matter on his own and reconnects with an Algerian man who Georges' parents nearly adopted. While the invasion of privacy is hardly ideal, problems really arise when Georges forgets both the fundamental rules of horror movies (ie: don't ever go off alone) and of maintaining a healthy marriage.

    Beneath the plot's surface, there is an undercurrent of political tension. Majid, the Algerian, was the son of two farm laborers who worked for Georges' parents. The two men met as children, during the Algerian war of independence, and had a brief but undeniably tumultuous friendship. Majid's parents died in a real life massacre which took place in Paris in October of 1961. The Algerian National Liberation Front organized a protest in the city, and while official reports claim that three people died when police and demonstrators clashed, estimates suggest that it was probably closer to two or three hundred people. According to "Cache," Majid's parents were two of them....

    Parlez-vous esoteric plotlines?

    Reviews: Caché

  • #2
    ....Haneke says he wanted to make a film about guilt, specifically about an adult forced to confront the actions of his youth.

    But, with the film referencing the 1961 Parisian massacre of Algerian immigrants - when French police gunned down as many as 400 protesting against a government curfew - Haneke widens the scope of the story beyond the personal.

    Inspired by a documentary which "shocked" him, he nevertheless does not want his feelings towards the massacre to be the focus.

    "The film could take place in any country, and every country has these dark corners where collective guilt corresponds to a sense of personal guilt in terms of each of us," he says.

    With the release in France just a few weeks before November's riots, Hidden uncannily foretold the country's worst unrest in 30 years.

    Immigration is evidently a subject he feels passionate about. "We're all afraid of sharing and that leads to the very restrictive immigration laws we have everywhere....."

    Haneke a master of unease


    • #3
      Hi Alkhiyal,

      I have been to see this movie. It is an OK film, very slow, that touched on Guilt...

      It was obvious in the film that it was not about any form of guilt but that the coloniser feels about its colony. I did not think that the massacre of 17.10.1961 was at the centre of the story but felt that it was a guide to the Algerian-French conflict.

      The scene that I thought was horrifying and shocking was when Majid committed suicide in front of the TV presenter. It took us all by surprise, it was very disturbing!

      There is also a mention of how the TV presenter (The coloniser, the European white man...) does not understand what all the fuss was about. He thinks Majid should have got on with his life and forgot about a childish act of a 6 year old. That to me is exactly what the colonising nations keep going on about: these Ex-colonies should move on and stop blaming us...

      I would give it 6/10. The ending is typical of a French movie, open and flat...

      [Edited by pandora on 26th March 2006 at 21:47]


      • #4
        shukran ya pandora, so he touches on the issue but doesn't really touch it, sa7? Then comes the fuss about how the issue has 'been addressed' by French cinema and everyone can move on, eh?

        Criticisms like yours need to be directed towards the movie, if there is any platform for such critiques.


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