Caché (film)

Caché (film)

Infobox Film
name = Caché

caption =
director = Michael Haneke
producer = Veit Heiduschka
writer = Michael Haneke
narrator =
starring = Juliette Binoche
Daniel Auteuil
Maurice Bénichou
music = None
cinematography = Christian Berger
editing = Michael Hudecek Nadine Muse
distributor = Artificial Eye
Sony Pictures Classics
released = October 5 2005
runtime = 117 min
country = France/Austria/Germany/Italy
language = French
budget = €8,000,000 (estimated)
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:327221
imdb_id = 0387898

"Caché" (marketed as "Hidden" in the United Kingdom and Ireland) is a 2005 French-language film, written and directed by Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke. It stars Daniel Auteuil as Georges and Juliette Binoche as his wife Anne. It is the first film in which Haneke used high-definition video cameras. It has no film score.


Georges (Daniel Auteuil) is a successful host of a TV program about books, who lives with his wife Anne (Juliette Binoche), a book publisher, and their son Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky). The family's comfortable bourgeois life is threatened when mysterious videotapes start arriving on their doorstep. The tapes show surveillance of their home with a static camera. At first they seem relatively harmless, but later videos are accompanied by crude, disturbing crayon drawings. Little by little, the tapes bring out disquieting information about events in Georges' childhood. Georges does not want to discuss his childhood problems, even with his wife.

Because the tapes do not contain an open threat, the police refuse to help Georges and Anne. One videotape leads Georges to the modest HLM apartment of an Algerian man named Majid (Maurice Bénichou), whose parents worked for Georges' family when they were young. When his parents were killed in the Paris massacre of 1961, Majid temporarily lived with Georges and his parents, who intended to adopt Majid into their family. Georges confronts Majid about the tapes, but he denies involvement. Throughout the film, Georges has guilty flashbacks and nightmares depicting a young Majid spitting blood, cutting off a rooster's head, and menacing him. Anne suspects there is more to know about Georges' relationship with Majid.

One day Pierrot does not come home from school and Anne cannot locate him. Georges and Anne suspect that Majid has kidnapped him. They go to the police, who accompany Georges to Majid's apartment. There they find Majid's son (Walid Afkir), and father and son both deny knowledge of the kidnapping. The police arrest them but they are released the next morning. On the same morning, Pierrot returns. He had spent the night at a friend's house without telling anyone. When Anne scolds Pierrot, he accuses her of committing adultery. In an earlier scene, we saw a distressed Anne permitting a few romantic caresses from Pierre, a family friend.

Majid asks Georges to come to his apartment and Georges does. Majid says he wanted Georges to be present, states that he had nothing to do with the tapes and then kills himself by slashing his own throat. When Georges returns home, Anne insists he tell her what he did to Majid so many years ago. When he was six years old, he says, he told his parents that Majid spat blood, but they did not believe him. He then tricked Majid into cutting off the head of a rooster, and told his parents that he did this to scare him. This prompted his parents to send Majid to an orphanage.

After Majid's suicide, his son confronts Georges. He denies involvement with the tapes, while Georges denies responsibility for his father's unhappiness and death. Majid's son says he only wanted to know how Georges felt about being the cause of his father's death, and Georges angrily leaves. Georges goes home, takes two sleeping pills, and goes to bed.

The scene returns to Georges' childhood home. A vintage model car arrives and the occupants enter the house, returning momentarily with a boy (Majid?) who protests, resists getting in the car. He runs and must be caught by the man, physically overcome, and forced into the back seat with the woman. The man drives the car away.

In a postscript under the credits, Pierrot and Majid's son meet in front of Pierrot's school, though their conversation cannot be heard. The camera does not move.



"Caché" premiered at the 2005 Cannes film festival. The film won numerous awards during its successful run at the festival, including the prize for Best Director, and the FIPRESCI prize. [ [ Cache" and "Sophie Scholl" Top European Film Awards] ]

"Caché" also won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. The film won several awards at the 2005 European Film Awards, including Best European Film, Best European Director, Best European Actor (Daniel Auteuil), and Best European Editor. [ [ WINNERS OF THE EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS 2007] ]

Positive reviews

* Deborah Young from Variety stated, "The tight pacing of Michael Hudecek and Nadine Muse's editing keeps the story fluid and focused but very concise, commanding audience attention from start to finish." [ [ "Cache" review] at Variety]
* Kirk Honeycutt at the The Hollywood Reporter stated, "In unraveling a nearly forgotten secret in the life of a self-satisfied and smug French intellectual, Haneke probes deeply into issues involving guilt, communication and willful amnesia." [ [ Hidden (Cache)] at The Hollywood Reporter]
* Roger Ebert from Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "...a perplexing and disturbing film of great effect, showing how comfortable lives are disrupted by the simple fact that someone is watching." [ [ "Caché" review] by Roger Ebert]
* The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw gave the film five out of five stars, describing it as "one of the great films of this decade" and "Haneke's masterpiece". [ [,,1695478,00.html Hidden (Caché) review] ]

Negative reviews

* Andrew Sarris from the New York Observer stated, "Too much of the plot's machinery turns out to be a metaphorical mechanism by which to pin the tail of colonial guilt on Georges and the rest of us smug bourgeois donkeys." [ [ "Cache"] at Rotten Tomatoes]
*Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle found the film fraudulent "in its style, technique and ultimate message," and that the director does "everything he can to bore the audience, and the audience tries not to fall asleep or flee the theater," making the film an "exercise in pain". [ [ 'Caché' tries to dig into what lies beneath, but comes up empty] ]

See also

* Paris massacre of 1961
* History of Algeria


External links

* [ Official US site]
* [ A comprehensive discussion of the ending]

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