Understanding Michael Haneke: Code Unknown (2000)


I have decided to include the following review in this Michael Haneke retrospective despite having watched it a little over a year ago for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the film is difficult to track down in my neck of the woods and giving it a genuine rewatch would be rather difficult. Secondly, I would like this review to stand close to my writings on his other works because, regardless of my opinion, the film is a key part of his journey as one of the foremost auteurs of our time. And finally, I don’t particularly think my view on this would shift radically anyway. However, it must be acknowledged – and it is partly why I am writing this short paragraph – that I watched Code Unknown before I was able to see 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, to which it is undoubtedly related structurally and thematically. In hindsight, I would have maybe adjusted my opinion on this film to a small degree had I known these two films were so closely related; however, I still stand by my thoughts and an overarching opinion that Michael Haneke was occasionally forgetting to dismount his moral high horse and delivering his timely and poignant sermons in a most unapproachable manner.

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