Michael Haneke (Amour) seems to have perfected a cinema of surveillance. He invites viewers to watch as he examines the lives of his bourgeois subjects with clinical ruthlessness. But as his subjects squirm and reveal their painful secrets, the viewer is implicated as well. He takes that notion a step further in Caché (“Hidden”), about a well-to-do couple, Georges and Anne (Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche), who keep finding videotapes of their home life delivered anonymously to their house. (It’s a plot device seemingly borrowed from David Lynch’s similarly unnerving Lost Highway.)
There’s no explicit threat, but the family is understandably alarmed. Who’s filming them, and what’s the intent behind the videos? Georges is the host of a literary talk show, so the fact that he’s a professional manipulator of images adds to the impression that the videos are tied to his own buried secrets. There’s a subplot about the atrocities of French colonialism, one that suggests a tie between Georges’ hidden sins and the secret shame of a nation that refuses to acknowledge the crimes of its past. Even more than in other Haneke films, everyone is guilty (including the audience), everyone has something to hide, and no secret remains buried forever.
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