By Brooklyn Reader

August 22, 2014, 4:02 pm

 

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At sunset today, August 22, join Restoration Plaza for this week’s feature film: La Haine.

La Haine is a 1995 French black-and-white drama/suspense film written, and directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. It’s is about three young friends and their struggle to live in the banlieues ghetto of Paris. The title derives from a line spoken by one of them, Hubert: “La haine attire la haine !”, “hatred breeds hatred.”

The film depicts approximately 19 consecutive hours in the lives of three friends in their early twenties from immigrant families living in an impoverished multi-ethnic French housing project (a ZUP – zone d’urbanisation prioritaire) in the suburbs of Paris, in the aftermath of a riot. Vinz (Vincent Cassel), who is Jewish, is filled with rage.

haine_1He sees himself as a gangster ready to win respect by killing a cop, manically practicing the role of Travis Bickle from the film Taxi Driver in the mirror secretly. His attitude towards police, for instance, is a simplified, stylized blanket condemnation, even to individual policemen who make an effort to steer the trio clear of troublesome situations.

Hubert (Hubert Koundé) is an Afro-French boxer and small time drug dealer, the most mature of the three, whose gymnasium was burned in the riots. The quietest, most thoughtful and wisest of the three, he sadly contemplates the ghetto and the hate around him.

He expresses the wish to simply leave this world of violence and hate behind him, but does not know how since he lacks the means to do so. Saïd – Sayid in some English subtitles – (Saïd Taghmaoui) is a Maghrebi who inhabits the middle ground between his two friends’ responses to their place in life.


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