What struck me about this film was the influence of US culture on the characterisation. Initially I thought I was just superimposing my own preconceptions, but I was lucky enough to attend a screening where the director was there to take questions afterwards. He made the point that a lot of Black and Arab youth culture in France borrows directly from the American idea of 'the ghetto', and from the language of film pornography. Ultimately I was disappointed because I like my French films 'French' (that is to say, coquettish, poetic, and a little existential). But that's not to say that La Squale is an excellent depiction of a very real French way of life - a good example of its genre.
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