cuckoochanel’s review published on Letterboxd:
🎉🎉🎉I’M BACK, BITCH!!!🎉🎉🎉
Taking a great deal of thematic inspiration from French protests and riots surrounding the police brutality and murders of French-Algerian student Malik Oussekine in 1986 and French-Zairian Makome M’Bowole in 1993, as well as stylistic inspiration from the oeuvre of Martin Scorsese and American hip-hop culture, Matthew Kassovitz’s 1995 La haine is a grim snapshot of life in the impoverished, immigrant-populated Parisian banlieues. Its audacious technical approach highlights the magnitude of the motifs at play: social stratification, abuse of power (especially as it relates to law enforcement), and the maladaptive psychology and trauma resulting from coping with violent, oppressive forces.
In the aftermath of a violent overnight riot, three friends juggle their emotions, egos and awareness regarding the police brutality of their friend and fellow immigrant. The emphasis on vocal outrage at institutional abuse of power and the demonstrations born out of that furious indignation remains as germane today as it was twenty-five years ago upon the film’s release. Kassovitz exhibits the derelict conditions and monotony of the cité while underscoring the importance of hip-hop music, attitudes, break dancing and streetwear in amalgamating the various cultures represented in the diverse fabric of the banlieue—also serving as the raucously poetic fuel for their uprising as they fight against all opposition at home and in their escapade to the seemingly unfamiliar universe of cosmopolitan Paris.