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Film: La Haine
"Jusqu'ici, tout va bien."

This is the story of a man who falls from a 50-storey apartment block. As he falls, he repeats over and over to reassure himself: "So far so good, so far so good, so far so good." But it's not the fall that's important - it's the landing.

La Haine (English: "Hate") is a 1995 black and white French movie, directed by Mathieu Kassovitz and set in the modern-day slums at the north of Paris — more precisely, in Seine-Saint-Denis, aka "93" or "neuf-trois" from its department number. Centering around a trio of banlieusards, the film follows them through a roughly 24 hour period from the morning after a riot, through run-ins with the police and unreliable fences, a night wandering around central Paris and back home. The three main characters are Vinz, a hot-headed Jew; Saïd, a wisecracking graffiti artist Beurnote ; and Hubert, the oldest and wisest of the three, who is black. Together, they face prejudice not just because of their races but also because, as banlieusards, they are assumed to be thugs - a reputation they find themselves earning uncomfortably often.

As the title suggests, it is not a happy film, though it does have some moments.


This movie contains examples of:

  • Book Ends: The first "non-archive footage" image is Saïd opening his eyes. The last image is Saïd closing his eyes.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Vinz is prone to flights of fantasy.
  • Corrupt Cop: Most of the Police presented in the film.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Mathieu Kassovitz briefly appears as the skinhead that Vinz intends to shoot.
  • The Danza: Vinz, Saïd and Hubert are played by Vincent Cassel, Saïd Taghmaoui and Hubert Koundé, respectively.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Originally filmed in color, changed in production by Kassovitz himself.
  • Downer Ending: See below.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Thought that skinhead looked a little familiar? It's Nino, from Amélie. Who also directed the movie. His father also appears as the owner of an art gallery.
    • Fans of French film might recognize one of the police officers as Djamel, the adorably awkward and good-natured neighbor from Chacun Cherche son Chat (titled When the Cat's Away in the U.S.), played by Zinedine Soualem. In La Haine, he is not so adorable.
    • This was Vincent Cassel's breakthrough role.
    • When some dudes are discussing about guns and Lethal Weapon on the barbecue roof ? The one talking about a "Glock 9mm", Benoît Magimel, got famous and did the sequel of The Crimson Rivers, the first one starring none other than Vincent Cassel and directed by... Mathieu Kassovitz.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: What kills Vinz at the end of the film.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: Example 2 in the United States. It was promoted as Jodie Foster Presents Hate (the actress' praise of the film was responsible for Gramercy picking up the domestic rights).
  • The Nineties
  • Police Brutality: a particularly brutal vicious circle relationship between the Paris police and a group of teenage thugs from the local banlieues. The police raid the deprived banlieues, the people who live there fight back, which means the police crack down harder on the area, which means the people start rioting...It eventually culminates in the police shooting an unarmed teenage boy, and one officer and the boy's best friend holding guns to each other's heads. And then the screen goes to black and a single gunshot is heard. End of film.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Vinz thinks so, at first.
  • What Happened to the Mouse??: Where did that Cow come from? Where did she go?
    • Arguably Rule of Symbolism: The police used to be referred to as 'les vaches' (cows) in France. So it's foreshadowing and a possible hallucination by Vinz - there are a number of unexplained instances of this, e.g. when he 'shoots' the police officer in the train station.
  • You Talkin' to Me?? : Reenacted by Vinz.

La Grande VadrouilleFrench FilmsHe Loves Me... He Loves Me Not
Grey GardensCreator/The Criterion CollectionHalloween (1978)
It Takes TwoFilms of the 1990sHaunted 1988

alternative title(s): La Haine
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