This utterly compelling psychological thriller from Michael Haneke - one of cinema's most daring, original and controversial directors - stars Daniel Auteuil as Georges, a TV presenter who begins to receive mysterious and alarming packages containing covertly filmed videos of himself and his family.
To the mounting consternation of Georges and his wife (Juliette Binoche), the footage on the tapes – which arrive wrapped in drawings of disturbingly violent images – becomes increasingly personal, and sinister anonymous phone calls are made. Convinced he knows the identity of the person responsible, Georges embarks on a rash and impulsive course of action that throws up some unpleasant facts about his past and leads to shockingly unexpected consequences.
Austrian citizen, Michael Haneke was born in Munich in 1942. He studied philosophy, psychology and theatre in Vienna. From 1973 to 1989, he worked in German-language theatre and television. Since 1989, he has been a film writer-director as well as a stage director working in Vienna, Berlin, Münich, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Hamburg.
Interview with director
Camillo De Marco: A small private tale that tells a bigger story, that of the unburdening of French errors with regard to Algeria?
Michael Haneke: The Algerian question is naturally at the centre of the film, but it would be a shame to reduce the story to just that. It’s a film about a sense of blame in general, the personal mistakes of everyone of us, the story of a man who covers his eyes in order to forget his choices. Every country has an error it would like to unburden, like France has, but in each country the political consequences are diverse. Austria, Germany they too have a past to forget.
CDM: In the film, someone threatens a family by sending them VHS tapes showing images of their private life filmed in secret but it doesn’t reveal the guilty party.
MH: It’s up to the viewer to find the solution, to interpret. I pose the questions, the viewer is invited to find the answers. That’s why the last scene is left open and it’s not so vital to uncover the guilty party. Mainstream films always give the answer before posing the question. The films I remember are the ones that have destabilised me.
CDM: It’s clearly someone with an old score to settle.
MH: We sense a great sadness behinds these threats. I would never say of one of my characters that he is sick, crazy or perverse. I only suggest solutions.
CDM: And the film certainly won’t show where the truth lies.
MH: All my films deal with the same theme, they ask what’s the nature of truth. The truth in cinema, in the media, the manipulation of it. That’s why I use images within images, to destabilise the viewer’s perception and to ask him or her to pose the question as to where the truth is hiding. It’s a question I ask myself all the time and which makes me react. But I’m not a school teacher. I simply stimulate the spectator‘s will to communicate with the film.
CDM: The principal character directs a television show called “Books and Images”. Is it more difficult for an intellectual to hide?
MH: It’s possible to know everything and still be emotionally unarmed. I’m an intellectual but that doesn’t help me in my private life!
Juliette Binoche: Anne Laurent
Daniel Auteuil: Georges Laurent
Maurice Benichou: Majid
Annie Girardot: Georges' mother
Bernard Le Coq: Chief editor
Daniel Duval: Pierre
Walid Afkir: Majid's son
Lester Makedonsky: Pierrot Laurent
Aissa Maiga: Chantal
Nathalie Richard: Mathilde
Denis Podalydes: Yvon
Original title: Caché
DVD catalogue number: ART312DVD
Blu-ray catalogue number: ART005BD
Out now on DVD, Blu-ray & on demand
Also part of The Films of Michael Haneke box set
CAST: Juliette Binoche: Anne Laurent Daniel Auteuil: Georges Laurent Maurice Benichou: Majid VIEW ALL