La Haine

8 September 2007 | 13.00

Ciné Ramadan
Pemutaran film ramadan setiap Sabtu 13.00

CCF Salemba
Jl. Salemba Raya No. 25
T 390 8580
F 390 8586,

1995, 95 minutes, versi Prancis
karya Mathieu Kassovitz
menampilkan Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui

Untuk mengusir rasa bosan dan menghabiskan waktu, tiga pemuda berjalan-jalan. Kerusuhan terjadi setelah Abdel Ichah dipukuli polisi waktu sedang diinterogasi. Malam itu merupakan malam terpenting dalam hidup mereka.

When a film called La Haine was released in France in 1995 it caused something of a stir. A sucess at the French box office, with around 500,000 viewers in the first six weeks of its release, as well as with the critics (it won the Best Director Award at Cannes), it became one of the most controversial and talked about French films in recent years.

The interest was unusual as the film was written and directed by a largely unknown young filmmaker and actor. Moreover, it was filmed in black and white, with no big name stars on a small budget (an estimated FF15 million). In Kassovitz, France, it seemed, had produced a young, talented and provocative filmmaker to rival American directors like Spike Lee, Quentin Tarrantino or even Britain's Danny Boyle.

The stir La Haine caused was, in part, due to its controversial subject matter - les banlieues (the suburbs) - which had, since the 1980s, become synonymous with France's major problems of unemployment, social exclusion, racial conflict, (sub)urban decay, criminality and violence. It was also due, in part, to its negative portrayal of the police who, with the exception of one officer of North African descent, are represented as violent, racist and uncomprehending. It was also due in part to its sympathetic, some might say indulgent, representation of an excluded and multi-ethnic suburban youth.

The initial story for La Haine came from a real-life fait divers: the shooting of a sixteen-year-old Zairean youth called Makomé Bowole in police custody in 1993. Unlike the Rodney King affair (a black man beaten by LAPD police officers was caught on videotape) which received wider public attention, Makomé's death went relatively unreported and unnoticed.

La Haine follows one day in the lives of three young banlieusards: Vinz, of Jewish descent, Saïd, a Beur, and Hubert, of African origin. Kassovitz replaces the bleu, blanc, rouge of the tricolore with the beur, blanc, `black' of the banlieues. The three friends are shown living by their wits, surviving on petty crime and small-time drug deals on a low income housing estate outside Paris. It's no ordinary day for them however, as a riot has just taken place on their estate, a friend has been assaulted in police custody and lies in hospital in a coma. To make things more explosive, Vinz finds a police revolver (une flingue) dropped, or stolen, during the rioting. As the three hang out together, picking over the aftermath of the riot and discussing the condition of their comatose friend, the tension mounts

The film is about the interracial solidarity of a small gang (une bande) of friends, divided by race, religion and ethnicity but joined by the common bonds of geographical and economic isolation. Living a life far removed from the far away from affluence of middle-class or tourist Paris, the three eke out a living by dodging and diving, working small-scale scams like dealing dope and handling stolen goods. Kassovitz is not so much interested in inter-racial violence - this is only touched upon briefly as part of a broader antagonism between young banlieusards and the police - but on a specific class (or underclass) and generation.
| Tony McNeill, The University of Sunderland


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