La Haine


La Haine
(1995)
   Film. The second feature film by actor-director Mathieu Kassovitz, La Haine is a black-and-white film set in the banlieue or urban periphery of Paris. A "day-in-the-life" film, La Haine focuses on three young men from the banlieue, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Huber Kounde), and Saïd (Saïd Tagmhmaoui). The three protagonists represent different minority groups within the larger French culture: Vinz is Jewish, Hubert is black, and Saïd is beur (French of North African origin).
   The film follows Vinz, Hubert, and Saïd for twenty-four hours through the streets and buildings of the banlieue, then into the unfamiliar territory of Paris, then back into the banlieue. It chronicles their confrontations with the police, their inability to navigate Paris (literally or figuratively), and their broader inability to move beyond the neighborhood of rent-controlled housing projects, or the cité. At the center of the narrative is a .44 magnum that has been lost by the police during riots in the cité. Vinz finds the gun and threatens to use it to seek revenge on the police for the brutal beating of his friend Abdel—the event that had sparked the riots in which the gun was lost. At several points in the film, Vinz comes close to using the gun, but on each of these occasions Hubert manages to dissuade him. Toward the end of the film, Vinz surrenders the gun to Hubert but is shortly afterward shot by the police. The film ends with Hubert in a standoff with the police officer who shot Vinz, as Saïd looks on.
   The film attracted a great deal of attention when it was released, in part because it so closely mirrored events that occurred and continue to occur in French society. The film highlights the marginalization experienced by minorities and the descendants of non-European immigrants in France, and it explores the impetus for the riots that have taken place with some frequency in the cities of Paris and other major cities, riots that express the hopelessness and frustration that come from living in a virtual ghetto where crime is rampant and unemployment often reaches rates of 25 percent or more. The film had a great deal of commercial and critical success in France and internationally and is considered a classic of French cinema, as well as a classic example of the cinéma de banlieue.
   Beyond its social realism, the film is also striking for its black-and-white cinematography, which recalls the cinematography of earlier film movements such as La Nouvelle Vague or the New Wave and Le Réalisme poétique or poetic realism. Like these earlier film movements, La Haine explores the reality of being working class in France and inhabiting the urban spaces of the socially marginalized. However, La Haine cannot be seen to be a realist film in the classical sense. Some have seen in its camerawork and editing echoes of the cinéma du look. While the film is highly stylized, it is less so than most of the look films. However, the use of compressed zooms, unusual tracking shots, aerial photography, and other similar elements do draw constant attention back to the presence of the camera, perhaps asking the viewer to contemplate what the role of visual culture has been in perpetuating social violence.

Historical Dictionary of French Cinema. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • haine — [ ɛn ] n. f. • haïneXIIe; de haïr 1 ♦ Sentiment violent qui pousse à vouloir du mal à qqn et à se réjouir du mal qui lui arrive. ⇒ antipathie, aversion, détestation, exécration, hostilité, répulsion, ressentiment; phobie. « La haine, c est la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • *haine — ● haine nom féminin (de haïr) Sentiment qui porte une personne à souhaiter ou à faire du mal à une autre, ou à se réjouir de tout ce qui lui arrive de fâcheux : Vouer à quelqu un une haine implacable. Aversion profonde, répulsion éprouvée par… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • haine — Haine, Odium. Particuliere haine, Priuatum odium. Haine notoire et apparente, Insigne odium. Une haine cachée et fort grande qu on retient en son coeur, Intestinum odium. Une haine cachée et dissimulée, Compressum atque tacitum odium, Occlusum… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Haine Rammsteiner — ハイネ・ラムシュタイナー (Haine Rammsteiner) Primera aparición Manga capítulo 4 Stray Dogs Howling In The Dark del manga Haine Rammsteiner (ハイネ・ラムシュタイナー, Haine Ramushutainā …   Wikipedia Español

  • haine — Haine. s. f. Mauvaise volonté que l on a contre quelqu un. La haine du prochain. haine mortelle. haine enracinée. vieille haine. haine couverte. haine declarée. avoir de la haine pour quelqu un. porter de la haine à quelqu un. nourrir de la haine …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Haine antichrétienne — Haine Pour les articles homonymes, voir Haine (homonymie) …   Wikipédia en Français

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