Michael Haneke is one of Europe's most successful and controversial film directors. Awarded the Palme d'Or and numerous other international awards, Haneke has contributed to and shaped contemporary auteur cinema and is becoming more and more popular among academics and cinephiles. His mission is as noble as it is provocative: he wants "to rape the audience into independence," to wake them up from the lethargy caused by the entertainment industry. The filmic language he employs in this mission is both highly characteristic and efficient, and yet his methods are open to criticism for their violence toward and manipulation of the audience. The aim of this book is to analyze critically Haneke's aesthetics, his message, as well as his ethical motivation from an interdisciplinary and intercultural perspective. Contributors to the book come from a variety of academic disciplines and cultural backgrounds-European and North American.