La haineDirector: Mathieu Kassovitz
While to most outsiders Paris seems the very picture of beauty and civility, France has had a long and unfortunate history of intolerance toward outsiders, and this powerful drama from filmmaker Mathieu Kassovitz takes an unblinking look at a racially diverse group of young people trapped in the Parisian economic and social underclass. Vinz (Vincent Cassel), who is Jewish, Hubert (Hubert Kounde), who is Black, and Said (Said Taghmaoui), who is Arabic, are young men from the lower rungs of the French economic ladder; they have no jobs, few prospects, and no productive way to spend their time. They hang out and wander the streets as a way of filling their days and are sometimes caught up in frequent skirmishes between the police and other disaffected youth. One day, a street riot breaks out after police seriously injure an Arab student; the three friends are arrested and questioned, and it is learned that a policeman lost a gun in the chaos. However, what they don't know is that Vinz picked it up and has it in his possession, and when Vinz, Hubert, and Said get into a scuffle with a group of racist skinheads, the circumstances seem poised for tragedy. Actress Jodie Foster was so impressed with La Haine when she saw it at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival that she helped to arrange American distribution for the film through her production company, Egg Pictures.
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- [B&W, Wide Screen]
- [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
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Cast & Crew
|Marc Duret||Inspector "Notre Dame"|
|Felicite Wouassi||Hubert's Mother|
|Karin Viard||Gallery Girl|
|Peter Kassovitz||Gallery Patron|
|Mathieu Kassovitz||Young Skinhead|
|Joseph Momo||Ordinary Guy|
|Philippe Nahon||Police Chief|
|Francois Toumarkine||Hospital Police|
|Christophe Rossignon||Taxi Driver|
|Dominique Dalmasso||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Adeline Lecallier||Associate Producer|
|Virginie Montel||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Giuseppe Ponturo||Art Director|
|Alain Rocca||Associate Producer|
|Christophe Rossignon||Executive Producer|
|Vincent Tulli||Sound Editor,Sound/Sound Designer|
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This Criterion Collection issue is a worthy add to your collection on a variety of levels. This modern black & white film is visually beautiful, as it moves effortlessly through verite documentary, dream-states, comedy, and MTV style video editing. It presents a very serious social commentary, yet does so in a way that plays the individual human experiences and dilemmas that make up a side of life that most of us will never have to experience. In describing the plot it can almost sound like an old joke: "so...there's this white guy, and a black guy, and this little muslim dude...". In reading the blurbage before seeing this movie, I was a bit dubious, so I rented it first, and really loved it. Then I watched it again with my wife and she loved it. This film stays with you. After about a year, I saw this at the BN racks, and grabbed it. The film still held it power and also the supplemental disc is full of excellent insights and interviews with the makers. In fact, writer/director Matthieu Kassovits has recently had a public internet battle with French president Nicholas Sarkozy regarding many of the social issues addressed that are still, and sadly will always be left unaddressed by power. That may sound a bit off topic, but see this film, and see an excellent addition to the body of film that gives voice to the voiceless, and a face to what is all too easily kept invisible.
A fascinating exploration of the verbal violence of racism in the impoverished suburbs of Paris, la Haine is perhaps one of the best films to come out of France in a decade. At times touching and absurd, it probes the mechanisms of violent thinking without showing any scenes of violence. This is not a blood and guts movie. This is a riveting study of the life of disadvantaged, young, French adults.
This film is as gritty as "pi" and as dramatic as "run lola run" - I would recommend this to anyone who loves film and the film-making process. Although it is now 12 years since I have seen it, I can remember each scene and exchange vividly. This film is perfect for the avid movie-buff, as well as for a group of twenty-somethings to thirty-somethings, sitting around a screen, sharing beers/wines/whatever. Check this film out and open up your mind a bit.
This is the best movie i've seen so far that makes u laugh and cry. I guess that's what happens when u have a jew, arab, and a black guy as best friends living in the ghetto of france. So if your down with ''OCB'' you'll be down with them too.