La Haine (French, 1996)

4/3/11

Even though La Haine is set in Paris and while obviously a French movie, the scenes and experiences portrayed here are universally relevant to all large cities in the world. That’s why even after fifteen plus years since the film was made, ‘La Haine’ still feels fresh and relevant today. It just knocks you in the face with such utter, raw intensity. 

 
One of the most significant French films of the 90s, La Haine is the kind that you will muse about for quite awhile—not only about the movie, but also regarding broader issues like poverty and discrimination. 
 
The French term for “hate,” La Haine, is a gripping story narrated through the lives of three friends living in suburban Paris during the chaos. This movie by Mathieu Kassovitz shows a part of France that you wouldn’t find on a tourist map, much like the movie City of God from Brazil. 
 
Exquisitely shot in stark black and white, this French masterpiece further offers the audience a sense of gloomy, gritty, and in-your-face realism. The story is narrated like a documentary film but infused with some comical components, which builds an ending that will most likely leave you both on the edge of your seat with a sense of despair. 
 
The La Haine soundtrack includes songs by Bob Marley, Isaac Hayes, and the rest are also very suitable and have great effect on the scenes. 
 
‘La Haine’ is a deep, gritty yet entertaining and amazing made cinematic reflection on police brutality, youth culture and life on the streets.  Highly recommended.
 
One of the Best Scenes:

 
Synopsis
 
La Haine (Hate) follows three jobless young men living in the French ghetto area, over a period of one day. Vinz, a Jew; Said, an Arab; and Hubert, Black, have all grown up in the deprived suburbs where racist and oppressive police authorities are rampant, and have stirred tensions to a crucial stage. 
 
The three protagonists ponder about the events that happened the night before, where their friend, Abdel, was beaten up by the police and now in a coma. Vinz has also found a loaded revolver lost during the riots, and swears that if Abdel dies, he will thoughtlessly kill a police officer. 
 
The three spend an evening in central Paris making trouble with the police, and feeling social outcasts. Missing the last train back to their home, they are forced to sleep in a shopping mall. The next day follows, with even more intense violence and chaos between the trio and the abusive cops.