White Paranoia: Michael Haneke's Caché reflected through Alain Robbe-Grillet's novel La Jalousie

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Inspired by Alain Robbe-Grillet’s novel La Jalousie (1957), the essay contends that Michael Haneke’s Caché (2005) takes its viewers inside a postcolonial white paranoia which is, arguably, the root cause of the exclusion, segregation and racist discrimination that many immigrants from the former colonies – and their children – are experiencing in contemporary France. It suggests that the entire film be read as the protagonist’s paranoid vision that imagines white privileges to be menaced by some non-white conspiracy. His obsession, which hinges on a fear of a reversal of the power inherent in ‘the gaze’, as brought out in the central ‘stalking plot’, informs the entire film’s narration and audiovisual make-up and explains, among other things, the serial repetitions and variations of certain settings and objects as the protagonist’s desperate attempt to create order in a threatening world. The construction of the film, however, also allows Haneke to critically comment upon his protagonist’s paranoia and demonstrate its ill-foundedness, for instance by pointing to a possible ‘banal conviviality’ (Paul Gilroy) between people of different ethnicities, cultures and religions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in French Cinema
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)91-108
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Michael Haneke, Caché, postcolonialism, France, immigration, Alain Robbe-Grillet

ID: 164796401