Catherine Wheatley in Michael Haneke’s Cinema: The Ethic of the Image

“Ethical concerns sculpt the themes and forms of Haneke’s work. Each of his feature films presents an ethical problem within its narrative — suicide, murder, conspiracy and rape are recurring themes, for example — and they also demonstrate an underlying concern with questions of guilt and responsibility. But this concern does not only take place on a narrative level, as characters struggle with and against their responsibility for past and present actions: it is also demonstrated on an extra-diegetic level. The content of each of these films presents us with a series of ethical problems which echo or mirror a set of ethical problems that Haneke sees inherent to the viewing situation. These problems revolve around the spectator’s complicity with the cinematic apparatus and their tacit acceptance or denial of this complicity. While questions of complicity, responsiblity and guilt raised within the narratives of Haneke’s films provide in themselves ample material for consideration, they also represent by analogy Haneke’s concerns with the acts of film-going and film-viewing.”

I think..

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