Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz • 1995 • France
Starring Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui
Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with LA HAINE, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts. Aimlessly passing their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé), and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui), a Jew, an African, and an Arab, give human faces to France’s immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their marginalization slowly simmering until it reaches a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, LA HAINE is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis.
This documentary, produced by StudioCanal, traces the history of LA HAINE from the real-life shooting that inspired the screenplay to the film’s success at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. It includes interviews with director Mathieu Kassovitz, actors Vincent Cassel and Hubert Koundé, and producers...
In the following program from 2007, sociologists Sophie Body-Gendrot, William Kornblum, and Jeffrey Fagan discuss the significance of LA HAINE’s banlieue setting and the realities of public housing in France and the United States.