Starkly shot in black and white, capturing a Paris not seen on any tourist map, the film deals with France's intolerance towards outsiders, following Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Kounde) and Said (Said Taghmaoui), three young men trapped in the Parisian economic, ethnic and social underclass.
Gritty view of urban violence
- La Haine review by Alphaville
This 1995 film about urban violence in the Paris suburbs is shot in arresting monochrome using a Steadicam that circles elegantly around the action as though eavesdropping on it. Yet the action itself holds little interest. The three social outcast leads are totally unsympathetic, although skinhead Vincent Cassel does show glimpses of the charismatic actor he would become. The relentless anti-police bias further distances audience engagement and dulls any message the film is trying to purvey about its subject matter.
I first saw this about 20 years ago, late night on either BBC or Channel 4. And wow. Just wow! What an amazing film.
I won't go into detail about the plot, but this is the film that made me really start to appreciate foreign films and really enjoy the idea of watching a subtitled movie.
Incredible acting from all of the cast, with Vincent Cassel now being my favorite actor. The film is interesting, gritty, funny and different to what else is out there. An absolute classic that has stood the test of time, and the topic is just as (if not even more) relevant today. Can't recommend it enough.