Archive of films Code Unknown / Code inconnu

1999, 117 min

Section: Borderline Films: The First Ten Years
Year: 2013

A busy Parisian boulevard. A random event suddenly touches the lives of several very different individuals: actress Anne, music teacher Amadou, beggar Maria. What do they have in common and why have they met at exactly this moment in time? Michael Haneke’s first French language film, in which Juliette Binoche plays one of the leads, screened in competition at the Cannes festival. Carte blanche: Antonio Campos


A busy Paris Boulevard. A young man tosses a crumpled food wrapper into a beggar woman’s bag and a passerby regards it as an affront to her human dignity. In an instant, a random event has connected the lives of several characters: Anne is a young actress trying to break into film. Her boyfriend Georges, a war photographer, is rarely in Paris. George’s father runs a farm where his younger son Jean refuses to work. Amadou, whose younger sister is deaf, teaches music at a school for deaf-mute children. His father is a taxidriver of African origin. Romanian Maria sends all the money she earns from begging back home. After being deported she lives in Romania for a while before undertaking another humiliating journey to France. In his first French-speaking film, Haneke breaks the storyline into fragments, focusing on characters who have nothing in common except perhaps feelings of frustration. Discontinuity as the fundamental means of expressing disillusionment and misunderstanding.

About the director

Michael Haneke (b. 1942, Munich) studied philosophy, psychology, and theater in Vienna. In 1967–70 he worked for German television. After a number of made-for-TV movies, he directed the trilogy The Seventh Continent (1989), Benny’s Video (1992), and 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994), in which he investigates the alienation of the individual through their frustrations, and analyzes the relationship between violence and modern media. Later films also betray a certain pessimistic view of human beings: The Castle (1997), Funny Games (1997), Code Unknown (1999), The Piano Teacher (2001), Time of the Wolf (2003), and Caché (2004). In 2007 he shot a remake of Funny Games in the United States. In 2009 The White Ribbon was presented at KVIFF after taking the Palme d’Or at Cannes, as did his latest film Amour (KVIFF 2012), which also won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


55, rue Traversière, 75012, Paris
Tel: +33 144 673 111
Fax: +33 143 072 963

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Borderline Films: The First Ten Years
Director: Michael Haneke
Screenplay: Michael Haneke
Dir. of Photography: Yürgen Yürges
Music: Giba Gonzalves
Editor: Andreas Prochaska
Producer: Marin Karmitz
Production: MK2 Productions
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Thierry Neuvic, Sepp Bierbichler, Alexandre Hamidi
Contact: MK2


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