The film follows three young men and their time spent in the French suburban "ghetto," over a span of twenty-four hours. Vinz, a Jew, Saïd, an Arab, and Hubert, a black boxer, have grown up in these French suburbs where high levels of diversity coupled with the racist and oppressive police force have raised tensions to a critical breaking point. During the riots that took place a night before, a police officer lost his handgun in the ensuing madness, only to leave it for Vinz to find. Now, with a newfound means to gain the respect he deserves, Vinz vows to kill a cop if his friend Abdel dies in the hospital, due the beating he received while in police custody. Written by
In some English-language versions, such as the 2007 Criterion Collection DVD, the name Astérix was changed to Snoopy in the subtitles, as the film traveled further than the Astérix books did. However, the character is still credited under the name of Astérix in Criterion's booklet and on their website. See more »
The trip across Paris is strange : the three characters should arrive at the Saint-Lazare station(north-west of Paris), coming from ChanteloupLesVignes. Yet, when they arrive, they are in front of the Montparnasse station(south of Paris), on the Rennes street. Then, they go to Asterix place, on the boulevard Pierre Ier of Serbia, close to Iena Place (west of Paris), and when they try to catch the last train, this time they are at the Saint-Lazare station, the right one to go back. But then, when they are on the roof, they see the Eiffel Tower and the Trocadero from the south-east, being probably close to Montparnasse station. Then, they come across a sculpture, L'Ecoute, in the Halles Garden(center of Paris), before going back. Hence, their trip goes : south, west, north-west, south and center of Paris. See more »
I have seen La Haine a handful of times now and with each viewing it just gets better.
The first thing that stands out about the film is the cinematography. It's rare that a film like this is considered both genuine and a good example of it's art but La Haine is both.
The plotline is compelling and realistic and neatly shows the way that inner city life has gone in the big cities in France as well as proving that despite the romance of Paris, it suffers from the same problems as any other major city.
The characters are above all believable and the cast did a great job. The quality of acting is simply stunning from several actors and it would be a shame if it was simply dismissed as "just another foreign art-house movie" by audiences outside France.
Above all the film whilst showing the influences of American films and society has a very clear sense of it's own identity and at no time does it feel like another US Ghetto film transposed to France. This is a major boon to the film and it stands out of the crowd for this, even though many people will dislike it because of this. It is, however, their loss.
It's hard to recommend this film highly enough, but I should add that more than one viewing is required to get the best from La Haine.
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