Wednesday, September 19, 2018

La Haine, now in the US

by Ariel (editor), Venice, CA, April 18, 2007


More than 12 years after it hit the theaters in France and took the international film world by storm, La Haine (French for 'hate'), was finally released on DVD in the US today.

Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz when he was just twenty-nine years old, this masterpiece of French cinema depicts the lives of three teenagers facing the realities of France's deep identity crisis. As the writers at rivetingly describe the plot: "Aimlessly whiling away 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 social marginalization slowly simmering until they reach a climactic boiling point."

Matthieu Kassovitz won the Best Director Award at the Cannes festival and the Cesar Award for Best Picture in 1996. He is most well known in the US for his role in Amelie as Nino Quincampoix, Amelie's romantic interest. He also played more recently in Spielberg's Munich as an agent for the Israeli intelligence unit Mossad.

Leading the excellent cast in La Haine is Vincent Cassel, who achieved stardom in this movie thanks to his powerful performance which artfully combined intensity and charm. And yes, Vincent Cassel is the lucky guy married to the magnificent Monica Belluci .

La Haine accurately portrays the intensity of the riots which have been frequently recurring in France throughout the past fifteen years. The recent French civil unrest in 2005 (remember all the cars burning?) was a very harsh reminder of the country's ongoing struggle between its own identity and growing immigration population.

La Haine sends out an alarming message to the overly complicit citizens of France, who consistently deny the escalating nature of the national crisis upon them. The movie illustrates the dire consequences of France's inaction through the eyes of one character who describes the nation as perpetually falling while incessantly clinging to its mantra: "so far, so good".

The DVD was released today by The Criterion Collection, a privately held company that distributes authoritative consumer versions of 'important classic and contemporary films' on DVD. It can be bought online from Amazon .

For your viewing pleasure, I have included the movie's trailer, so that BrooWaha's readers can get a glimpse of this masterpiece which took way too long to get to the U.S.

Translation of the trailer:
"It's the story a man who falls from the roof of a skyscraper. He keeps himself calm by repeating the same words. 'So far, so good'. 'So far, so good'. 'So far, so good' ... But what matters is not the fall. It's the landing."

For more information about the DVD, please visit Criterions's page at:

About the Writer

Ariel is an editor for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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5 comments on La Haine, now in the US

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By Steven Lane on April 18, 2007 at 01:46 am
on my netflix
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By Deleted User on April 18, 2007 at 11:04 am
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By Seb on April 26, 2007 at 05:44 am
Je dois bien admettre être surpris que le film sorte aux US... Surtout tant de temps apres. Néanmoins, ce n'est pas une mauvais chose. Très bon article Ariel :)
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By V on April 28, 2007 at 05:29 pm
Oh my God I LOVE this movie! It was really just released in the US? When it was first released, I thought it was the most outstanding film a the time.
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By Adam on April 29, 2007 at 04:03 am
It's true this is an outstanding movie although it starts to get a little bit old. But still its subject remains of actuality. For those interested, "Metisse" and "Fierrot le Pou" by the same director are also very good. And if you would like to see more on the subject you can watch "Ma 6-T va craker" by Jean-François Richet... or the news.
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