La Haine DVD/Blu-ray (Criterion) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, August 8th, 2020  

La Haine DVD/Blu-ray

Studio: Criterion

Jul 10, 2012 Issue #41 - Yeasayer Bookmark and Share

Mathieu Kassovitz's gritty, documentary-like second film is a powerful comment on class and racial disparity set in and around a Parisian banlieue-high-rise housing projects-during the aftermath of a riot. Three friends-one Arab, one African, and one Jew-waste away their day as a friend lies dying in the hospital, wounded by police gunfire the night before. One has found a gun that was dropped in the chaos, and vows to take revenge for his friend's death by shooting a cop.

Like Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, there's a constant sense that hostilities will boil over at any moment. (La Haine even has its own "Fight the Power" in KRS-One's "Sound of da Police.") The film's plot is about as directionless as its core trio, less a narrative than a series of fascinating and disturbing vignettes looking into 24 hours in the lives of these impoverished, angry, frustrated youths. La haine-"the hate"-referred to in the title isn't just one character's emotion, but is felt by everyone in the film, in one direction or another. A fictionalized story inspired by true events, it's a scary look at issues so deep-rooted that they're still a big problem nearly 20 years later. (

Author rating: 8/10

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