MATHIEU KASSOVITZ, 1995
French director Kassovitz was awarded the Palme D'or for Best Director at Cannes 1995, for this film. La Haine (released as Hate in the US) tells the story of a day in the lives of three youngsters, living in a council estate at the outskirts of Paris, in the aftermath of the beating of one of their friends by the police, which had lead to riots and confrontations with the...
…armed forces. The film was shot in black and white, on a very low budget, using many non-professional actors. The scenes are mostly shot on location, in the Parisian suburb of Chanteloup-les-Vignes, with extended use of a hand-held camera, and plenty of stock footage of riots happened in the region in the 10 years preceding the film. The editing is adventurous and dramatic, and this provides a balanced and reliable point of view to the audience, even when the camera point of views are sometime incongruent. The setting of this film is a Parisian banlieu, a term loosely meaning suburb, but which in France assumes a different connotation, because the suburbs of Paris are normally inhabited by lower-income citizens,living in affordable blocks of flats and, in those areas, the social unrest is high, also because normally a high number of immigrants or naturalized citizens live there, almost in a ghetto situation. The movie rides the wave of the atmosphere of social unrest of the early 90’s all over Europe, and especially France, Spain and Italy, and, undoubtedly, a lot of the its success arises from this situation. In those years, many so-called Social Centres appeared, and youngsters started to revolve around them, and be active in politics, especially of a left-wing orientation. And a certain type of socially-engaged art started to become stronger and more organized, and it gained consensus; however, the feature possesses high artistic merits, and its place amongst some of the greatest films is definitely deserved.