Paris massacre of A commemorative plaque to the massacre at Pont Saint-Michel. A basis for the story was the massacre that took place in Paris on 17 October , referenced by the character Georges: They drowned about Arabs in the Seine.
Including Majid's parents most likely. They never came back. Dad went to Paris to look for them. They said he should be glad to be rid of a couple of jigaboos. I'm not going to give anyone this answer. If you think it's Majid, Pierrot, Georges, the malevolent director, God himself, the human conscience — all these answers are correct.
But if you come out wanting to know who sent the tapes, you didn't understand the film. To ask this question is to avoid asking the real question the film raises, which is more: People are only asking, " whodunnit?
But my film isn't a thriller and who am I to presume to give anyone an answer on how they should deal with their own guilty conscience?
Haneke explained, "I wrote it down when I got home and always wanted to use it. I think it sits well here because it makes people ask if it's true or not".
Principal photography took place at Rue des Iris and Rue Brillat-Savarin, Paris,  where Haneke ordered parked vehicles arranged and rearranged to match his vision and prepare for tracking shots. Haneke said most of the filming likely took place in Vienna. After stating the date, Georges adds "Enough said", indicating the event was better-known by , but also seemingly affirming silence about it; Walker points out that Georges ironically follows this with details.
Kilbourn writes that Georges had suppressed his memories and his sense of guilt and that for Haneke, trauma is lived in the present through memory. Present-day conflicts such as the Iraq War and the Israeli—Palestinian conflict are depicted through a Euronews broadcast seen in the film. Author Patrick Crowley writes these are used to represent "the return of the colonial repressed [ Haneke reveals life without privacy, Herzog writes.
Smith tied Haneke's ambiguity as to the sender of the tapes to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche 's writings on interpretation, quoting Haneke: It's a matter of perspective". The fact that the world becomes picture at all is what distinguishes the essence of the modern age [ Manon hypothesises the surveillance represents psychiatrist Jacques Lacan 's "le regard — 'the gaze'", as psychoanalysis , which Georges wishes to avoid. In his mind, "the enemy is everywhere", Wheatley writes.
Speck has written that Haneke rejected "pseudo-realism" in its recreations of Georges's childhood. This suggests Haneke himself is sending the tapes in the story. Noting that the opening sequence is characterised by a lengthy take in which the camera is stationary and focused on a street, with a "crowded composition" and a two-storey house in the centre, essayist Jonathan Thomas compares this to a photograph, along with sounds of birds, and described it as "idyllic". The website's critical consensus reads, "A creepy French psychological thriller that commands the audience's attention throughout".
Scott wrote that while he could criticise it as a liberal exercise in inducing guilt, it was "hard to deny its creepy, insinuating power". Ebert questioned whether the last scene's encounter between Pierrot and Majid's son is the first time they met, or one of many encounters. He concluded Majid's son must be at least partly responsible and that Pierrot is a possible accomplice, as it is not clear where he is in many scenes.