La haine

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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; ...
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Overview

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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Special Features

Audio Commentary by Kassovitz and Introduction by actor Jodie Foster; Ten Years of "La haine," a documentary that brings together cast and crew a decade after the film's landmark release; Featurette on the film's banlieue setting; Production footage; Deleted and extended scenes, each with an afterword by Kassovitz; Gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and Trailers; Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau and a 2006 appreciation by filmmaker Costa-Gavras
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Appropriately filmed in stark black-and-white, La haine takes us to a Paris that cannot be found on a postcard or in a glossy travel brochure. The Eiffel Tower makes only one appearance, as a distant reminder of a society that has no place for the film's alienated protagonists. When it premiered in 1995 at the Cannes Film Festival, this work of 28-year-old Mathieu Kassovitz, who had previously directed Cafe au lait, arrived with the subtlety and impact of a kick to the head. Inspired by such American urban classics as Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, and Do the Right Thing, La haine nevertheless emerged as a work of distinct originality, appropriating its influences to tell a story at once specific and universal. The story's racial and socio-economic tensions are exposed with an unapologetic, in-your-face brutality devoid of the romanticism that often plagues films about life in the "hood;" Kassovitz is more interested in uncovering his protagonists' frailties than idealizing them. Their anger is justified and treated with sympathy, but they are held responsible for their reactions to it. The tragedy that concludes the film does not allow anyone to escape unscathed, a jarring reminder that, as long as racism and other forms of social repression are permitted to exist, we are all both its perpetrators and its ultimate victims.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/8/2012
  • UPC: 715515093712
  • Original Release: 1995
  • Source: Criterion
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / B&W
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 1:36:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 27,551

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Vincent Cassel Vinz
Hubert Kounde
Saïd Taghmaoui Said
Francois Levantal
Edouard Montoute
Karim Belkhadra
Vincent Lindon
Marc Duret Inspector "Notre Dame"
Felicite Wouassi Hubert's Mother
Karin Viard Gallery Girl
Benoît Magimel Benoit
Peter Kassovitz Gallery Patron
Mathieu Kassovitz Young Skinhead
Joseph Momo Ordinary Guy
Philippe Nahon Police Chief
Francois Toumarkine Hospital Police
Christophe Rossignon Taxi Driver
Andrée Damant Concierge
Technical Credits
Mathieu Kassovitz Director, Editor, Screenwriter
Pierre Aïm Cinematographer
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, Producer
Gilles Sacuto Producer
Scott Stevenson Editor
Vincent Tulli Sound Editor, Sound/Sound Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Riveting, Outstanding

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    this prophetic film is a must see for anyone interested in race and class issues

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    KIller Film

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2001

    Must See.

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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