La Haine

La Haine ★★★★½

Quickie Review 
Looks like I found another movie where the timing has stayed relevant. Showing that police brutality, marginalized communities, racism and street violence isn’t just an American thing, director Matthieu Kassovitz showcases a look at France unpolished, unsettling and free of the romanticism previously seen in other French films with a gritty, engrossing and visually stunning story set in the low-income banlieue districts on the outskirts of Paris and taking place 24 hours after a night of rioting on the Paris streets. Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé) & Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui) are three friends who wonder aimlessly through life while living in the environs of their dead-end Parisian suburbs and they have a growing resentment of authority, specifically the police who oppress them because of their marginalized upbringing and their races (Vinz is Jewish, Hubert is African, Saïd is Arabian) and that resentment will start to simmer until it reaches its ultimate boiling point. I kept trying to see this movie for the longest time but the problem is that I always kept putting it off, whether it was Kanopy or on The Criterion Channel (which is where I watched it) and it wasn’t until the protests and taking advantage of the 14-day free trial of Criterion Channel is where I stopped putting off tomorrow what I see today. I wasn’t aware that the problems were having now are the same kind of problems that places like France. America has a prejudice problem, so does France. America has a police problem, so does France. America has race issues, so does France. The current issues we’re facing in America is not exclusive to just one part of the world, it’s a universal thing. That alone makes the movie harrowing and remarkable and thanks to the performances of its three leads, the direction of Kassovitz and probably the most haunting, darkest endings I’ve ever seen in a movie of this magnitude, it’s a true essential for international cinema watchers. La Haine is a timely and bleak story that’s also a must-see for any cinephile, whether you’re watching on Kanopy or The Criterion Channel. Highly recommended!

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