Michael Haneke (writer and director) Code inconnu: Récit incomplete de divers voyages (Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys) / 2000
Code Unknown begins with a sense of urgency and trauma which grows and grows throughout the film until the final scene, resulting in a disconnect with almost all the film’s figures.
Similarly, when Georges returns from his photographic assignment where he has clearly witnessed the terrors of the horrifying Balkan struggles, he seems relatively unaffected and is criticized both by another friend and Anne of lacking empathy and feeling for his fellow beings.
Others such as Anne, Amadou, and Maria seem to have too much feeling, involving themselves in situations in which they are unable to significantly help, opening them to abuse. Anne plays just such a figure in the film on which she is currently at work, a thriller in which she portrays a woman touring an apartment where she is suddenly lured into a “music room” and threatened with her life. This terrible scene—in which the would-be murderer reports that he wants to watch her die—since we do not yet know that she is an actress, appears at first as if it might be a “real” event. The threat that gas will soon be filling the room, moreover, echoes with the deaths of millions of such women in the Nazi concentration camps.
Los Angeles, February 3, 2011