Tuesday, November 16, 2010

La Haine, by Mathieu Kassovitz

   "A man is falling, and while he falls he says to himself: It's all good so far, it's all good so far. But the important in not the fall, it's the landing..."

   [Bob Marley sings Burnin' and Lootin' while you look at the images of police fighting with people in france]

   This is a story of a day in the life of three young man living in the suburbs of Paris. Hubert is black, from central african origin. Vinz is a jew. And Said is north african.

   Even though this is a recent movie, it's shot in black and white.

   After a violent demontration with burned cars around and a friend of them in the hospital, Vinz finds a gun. He promises to kill a cop if his friend dies.

   The friends have an eventful day in Paris. The city of lights is not shown as a glamorous place as in other movies. They are at a loss there. At some point, Said and Hubert are held by police and the cruelty and arbitrariety of the police is quite shocking.

   They eventually get to return to the suburb and there again have an encounter with police. With stronger repercussions...

   Amazing movie by a young director. It's great to see a really original french movie, not inspired by the old succesfull formulas of their cinema. The french slang is really accurate and fun if you get to understand some of it. The influence of american cinema is also very noticeable. Vinz tries to learn to act as a gangster by immitating  DeNiro's Taxi Driver character.

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