Movie #338 La Haine
(1995, France, d. Matthieu Kassovitz)
It comes from a director who really hasn’t measured up to the quality of this film since producing it, but La Haine is one of the most inspired pieces of cinematic genius to ever be released. It’s difficult putting into words the exact contributions and influences this film has had on my young filmmaking career, but there are many aspects of this film that will live beyond anything I will ever accomplish, the first being the dialogue. This is the sort of film that you look up and you realize you’ve been watching two people do nothing but talk for the last ten minutes, and you realize it has absolutely riveted you. Like the way a good Tarantino movie feels on page, La Haine takes that and brings to a powerful message of a film. It follows three friends, all different ethnicities, during one day in the middle of riots that took over Paris in the 90’s (correct me if I’m mistaken). At time a little humorous (just due to insight), La Haine takes you from one spot in Paris to the other – following a loose narrative but never letting the audience go. Purposefully black and white, it is a film that is also makes its creative decisions so artfully and carefully what ends up coming out is a masterpiece. With incredible camera tricks and visual flairs, it is a movie that, with the right content, can move people. And it did. Winning Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival and picking up Best Film at the Cesar Awards in that year as well, La Haine is the type of film that never lets you go and never lets you feel apathetic to the events we are watching. Kassovitz’ main goal is to make everything feel real amidst chaos, and it does: at times, painfully so.