After reading a blog about "Code Unknown" at Cinemarati, I ordered it from Netfix. When I finally got around to watching it I was confused, depressed, but also affected more than any movie I've seen in a long time.
The only cast member I was familiar with was Juliette Binoche. The "English Patient" Oscar winner plays an actress who is the center of a number of storylines. Her brother-in-law has left home and shows up at her apartment, her husband is a photojournalist in Kosovo, and an African she encounters on the street sends the film off in another direction - a story of the life immigrants lead in Europe.
Haneke's vision is of a Europe divided by race, class, and religion. No one seems to be able to bridge those gaps, and the film ends with separation rather than easy resolution. I should add at this point I'm completely at a loss to explain the images of deaf children and drums that appear throughout the movie.
"Code Unknown" would never be released by an American studio. It has no three-act structure, no sympathetic hero at the center, no humor, and in the strictest sense no plot. How did we as Americans get conditioned to these narrative restrictions, ad what do we do about it? Why are Europeans so different? These are of course unanswerable questions, but that doesn't mean I'll stop trying to figure them out.