Hidden’s Disinherited Children • Senses of Cinema
I'm alright with movies leaving me with questions or ending open ended, . What I was most struck by in Hidden though was Haneke's and Algerian characters and the relationship and history between France and Algeria. Towards the end of Michael Haneke's Caché (Hidden, ), there is a .. The changed relationship between us and culture is made clear by. What if Michael Haneke's "Cache" is a puzzle with only flawed solutions? Pierrot at the end of the film should not know anything at all about Majid and Walid. . Much of it involves the relationship between Georges (Daniel.
Our understanding of the household, therefore, comes to us through the knowledge we gain of their mundane everyday domestic reality. And yet another sense of their everyday life is gained through the vignettes that show them at work and socializing.
Georges is shown at work during production and post-production of the book show he hosts. While he works for public television, it is evident that he has internalised the values of the marketplace because he takes a tabloid approach, exhibiting no qualms about removing a large chunk of the ideas that his guests have exchanged during the show on the grounds that they are theoretical.
That the segment he edits out is about the lack of ethics involved in meddling in a text for commercial gain is one of a number of ironic points made in the film. As such, it is a clear abrogation of his responsibility as a journalist and as an intellectual in transmitting ideas. If Georges lacks intellectual integrity, his producer also reveals himself to be a contemporary organization man.
He is an urbane man with a vaguely bookish air but, it seems, someone too busy to read the authors he promotes. There is a contrast in the film between the old and new bourgeoisie. The changed relationship between us and culture is made clear by this scene. The scenes at what we assume are the school swimming pool are also indicators of different times.
We learn that the woman is in hospital, while the man has a new lover and his career is going well. Without a doubt, for instance, the publisher-media nexus that the cultivation of these particular friendships facilitates is of mutual benefit to all. Haneke says that a key scene to the issue of guilty conscience in the film is the one in which Georges and Majid have their first encounter.
When a Proustian Madeleine appears by coincidence, then it all emerges. I had no choice. But he is shown to possess the emotional and political maturity that Georges lacks. As he sits at the bench by the window having a drink, we see him clearly but, as he turns away from the light and calls Anne on his mobile, we understand that the shadow that falls across his face has to do with the totally concocted and untruthful story that he proceeds to tell her.
This subjective signifier is absent, however, when we re-experience the meeting between the two men through the surveillance tape. There is an uncanny sense of a mismatch on this occasion as we struggle to remember the previous version of the encounter. This time, we are also deprived of the identification mechanisms that allowed us to enter the space of the subjects at a subjective level.
If guilt is the main theme in this film, then who is guilty? We must assume that Majid re-experiences the despair, powerlessness and sense of loss in this case, his possible separation from his son which accompanied the traumatic childhood event. Georges stands across the street in the shadows while the two men are taken to the paddy wagon by the police.
Unthinkingly stepping off the pavement and so just missing a collision with the rider and his bike, his aggressive reaction is out of proportion with the harmless nature of the event.
His compulsion to repeat the past is indicated throughout the film whenever moments of crisis arise. Thus, when Pierrot is missing, Georges sits slumped in front of the television and, as noted, he stands across the road in the shadows during the paddy-wagon scene.Caché: A Hidden Perspective
Most chillingly, when Majid commits suicide, he does nothing. But, as we in the audience strain to identify the strangulated sounds that we hear, fearful that they are the death throes of the dying man and worried that no action is being taken, he instead repeats the phobic and passive behaviour that characterized the traumatic childhood event.
In the extraordinary ellipsis that follows, day has become night time, as we see him emerging from a cinema where it seems he has taken refuge from the horror by watching a movie. When they emerge, day has become night as in Hidden. While Haneke leaves this possibility open, it seems unlikely. Rather, we can assume he is deeply depressed because he has been put through an experience recalling one of the most traumatic moments of his life.
Far from involving a motive of simple revenge, his final calm words before he takes his life are a testimony to his innocence: But these are perhaps minor sins. Agents of justice are pivotal to the thriller, but they are often ambiguous figures whose legally based justification of their brutality does not overcome the troubling perception that they share much in common with the criminals they hunt down.
There are pointers towards their mutual implication in the surveillance activity: The evasive response can be taken on several levels. And because these sounds so often seem to mirror changes in feeling, in emotion within the narrative, they not only take the place of music but they also come to be understood like music.
They establish a dynamic whereby they function both as source sound and scored music. They are natural sounds behaving unnaturally.
But it could also be an involuntary memory effect: In that particular instance, there is a possibility that the tone could be attributed to Georges, signifying his troubled conscience as Majid is taken away.
And if they are involved, who possesses and drives the car — apart from the one driven by Georges — in which the camera is sometimes used? And what motives can we ascribe to their partnership? That he is the one principal character not named in the film may be a red herring. We make his acquaintance late in the film and know little about him, so we may not suspect him of being a major player. Here, as in such real historical instances, there is a problem with the attribution of blame to those not mature enough to realise the uncontrollable consequences of their actions.
Left Behinds: Update: Caché's meaning
But Hidden raises interesting issues by defamiliarising the family, showing it as a site of deception and alienation, as opposed to trust and intimacy, while also suggesting a reconfiguration of social relationships in the public sphere, particularly inter-racial relationships.
Likewise, the black cyclist involved in the confrontation with Georges makes it clear that his generation will have no truck with old racist attitudes and assumptions.
A major consequence of their actions is the damage caused to their ties to their fathers. Nowhere is the historical problematic more evident than in the question of authority that haunts Le Rouge et le Noir, not only in the minds of its individual figures but in its very narrative structure.
It came from the experience of fascism, and the same applies to film. If memory serves, Pierrot exits the school from the left side, curls round a crowd of other classmates, and meets Majid's son in the left part of the frame.
Starry Eyes for Empty Skies: Essay: the meaning of "Hidden", a film by Michael Haneke
Believe it or not, they spend a pretty decent amount of time together. Check it out [in the pic above] Majid's son is the kid facing the camera with his arm outstretched to Pierrot's shoulder.
Not to getall Antonioni on you, but here's a closer look: Okay, so what does it all mean? At first, I was inclined to take the most literal interpretation possible: That the videotapes and letters were some sort of collaboration between the younger generation. But as I get further from the film, this makes less and less sense to me, because I'm inclined to take Majid's son at his word when he tells Auteuil he knows nothing about the tapes.
A wise cinephile friend of mine believes that the meeting says more about the future than the past, and something hopeful at that: That the younger generation can come together and take steps to resolve the traumas of the past. This dovetails nicely with the film's political allegory about the state of French-Algerian relations though you can probably claim the same for their collaboration on the tapes, with the kids unearthing the sins of the father.
In any case, I really don't wish to draw any hard conclusions until I see the film a second time. And there's no doubt I'll be seeing this one multiple times. I'm told also to look sharp during the swim meet scene for further clues I think that Pierrot is behind the videotapes. Either him or another, unnamed, hidden player who is, perhaps, videotaping the last scene.