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Influential French Cinema, La Haine (1995) | REVIEW

La Haine is a work of tough beauty, a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country's ongoing identity crisis during the 1990s. This film explores hate in a variety of ways, in one way this is a film about racism and shows us a deep look inside a society of youths who take matters into their own hands. After a chaotic night of rioting in a marginal suburb of Paris, three young friends, Vinz, Hubert and Saïd, wander around unoccupied waiting for news on their friend who has been seriously injured when confronting the police.


To this day, La Haine delivers an extremely clear and powerful message which cannot go unnoticed. Even if our world is full of hate and cruelty, violence is not the answer. This ideal is penitent and should resonate with audiences from every corner of the world, La Haine shows us both sides of the coin, the police and those who suffer the consequences of the police. Showing each side of the social divide makes this movie all the more empathetic and meaningful, the characters are harsh and created to cause problems but we also see their humanity, as side which exists in us all.


Director, Mathieu Kassovitz throws every cinematic aspect at his mid-90s drama. A blend of structural racism, police brutality and media manipulation all squeezed into this high energy feature which is also filled with stylised camera choices and visual beauty. If you watch this film and aren’t taken by the narrative the pure creativity when it comes to the execution of shots and dialogue is truly magnificent and one of my favourite aspects of the film overall. This film won’t please everybody’s tastes, although for any true cinema lover or aspiring filmmaker this movie is a perfect example of poetic creativity. Sharing your opinions to the world in one of the most cathartic yet stylised forms, cinema.


La Haine combines the usually opposing styles of surrealism and realism. This decision only enhances the meaning and impacts of the film overall, La Haine is a mentally challenging movie with a lot of underlying meaning and some pretty raw moments throughout. We see a side to Paris and human nature which, at times, feels like a documentary but on the other it uses such distinct choices it feels like a dream. This duality and merging of two opposing styles makes this film unique and truly memorable.

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