is an angry, anti-authoritarian French film that concerns three young guys (a Jew, an Arab, a black) who decide to take on the police after a friend is brutally beaten. There isn't much going on in this black and white drama beyond its violence (which can be pretty hard to watch, such as an interrogation scene that incorporates torture) and gritty observations of wayward youths hanging out on the fringes of Paris. Certainly, there isn't much in the way of insight, and director Mathieu Kassovitz seems to have absorbed more of the excesses of America's independent film scene, especially Spike Lee at his most indulgent, than its blessings. But if it's edge and rawness you want, this has it--with subtitles. --Tom Keogh
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Special Edition, SYNOPSIS: While to most outsiders Paris seems the very picture of beauty and civility, France has had a long and unfortunate history of intolerance toward outsiders, and this powerful drama from filmmaker Mathieu Kassovitz takes an unblinking look at a racially diverse group of young people trapped in the Parisian economic and social underclass. Vinz (Vincent Cassel), who is Jewish, Hubert (Hubert Kounde), who is Black, and Said (Said Taghmaoui), who is Arabic, are young men from the lower rungs of the French economic ladder; they have no jobs, few prospects, and no productive way to spend their time. They hang out and wander the streets as a way of filling their days and are sometimes caught up in frequent skirmishes between the police and other disaffected youth. One day, a street riot breaks out after police seriously injure an Arab student; the three friends are arrested and questioned, and it is learned that a policeman lost a gun in the chaos. However, what they don't know is that Vinz picked it up and has it in his possession, and when Vinz, Hubert, and Said get into a scuffle with a group of racist skinheads, the circumstances seem poised for tragedy. Actress Jodie Foster was so impressed with La Haine when she saw it at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival that she helped to arrange American distribution for the film through her production company, Egg Pictures.
SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Camerimage Awards, Cannes Film Festival, Ceasar Awards, European Film Awards, Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, Thessaloniki Film Festival, ...La Haine ( Hate )