La Haine (Criterion Collection)

Directed By: Mathieu Kassovitz Starring: Vincent Cassel

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Product Overview

When he was just twenty-nine years old, Mathieu Kassovitz took the international film world by storm with La Haine (Hate), a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically in the low-income banlieue districts on Paris' outskirts. Aimlessly whiling away their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz, Hubert, and Said - a Jew, an African, and an Arab - give human faces to France's immigrant populations, their bristling resentments at their social marginalization slowly simmering until they reach a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, La Haine is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country's ongoing identity crisis.


Studio Criterion Collection
SKU 204048725
UPC 715515023023
UPC 14 00715515023023
Format DVD
Release Date 4/17/2007
Social Issues
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note An ethnically diverse trio of angry young men living in a Paris housing project struggle with how to react after a friend of theirs is beaten by police during a riot. Winner of the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Plot Summary
Summary Shot in cinema verité style, this film follows a day in the life of three aimless, violence-prone, ethnically-diverse young men who hail from the same decaying housing project in Paris. | Vinz, who is Jewish, is the angriest and the least intelligent of the three. North African Said is calmer, but is the most despairing about his future. Hubert is Black, and the most mature, channeling his rage through boxing. Although the trio seethes with fury over the arrest and senseless beating of an Arab friend, each manages to keep the other in check. But that changes after Vinz finds a loaded gun -- and the trio becomes entangled with the police, and later a group of skinheads.
Rolling Stone "...Prepare to be jolted by the intensity....The performances are as white hot as the subject matter..." 02/22/1996 p.70
USA Today "...Writer-director Mathieu Kassovitz (Cafe au Lait) mines so much tension and pointed dialogue from a low budget and deceptively simple premise..." -- 3 1/2 out of 4 stars 02/09/1996 p.4D
Variety "...Extremely intelligent....The in-your-face lensing and more formal compositions are used to maximum effect..." 05/29/1995
New York Times "...[A] precise and troubling film....Smartly aware that many urban problems are also global..." 02/09/1996 p.C21
Los Angeles Times "...Raw, vital and captivating....HATE is a visceral fable of a divided society heading blindly for a crash-landing..." 03/08/1996 p.F16
Chicago Sun-Times "...As a filmmaker, Kassovitz has grown since his first film. His black-and-white cinematography camera is alert, filling the frame with meaning his characters are not aware of..." 04/19/1996 p.32
Sight and Sound "For all the comic byplay, Kassovitz keeps the viewer braced for the simmering tension to boil over." 06/01/2006 p.88-89
Mathieu Kassovitz
Vincent Cassel
Cast & Crew
Alain Rocca, et. al. - Producer
Assassin - Original Music By
Giuseppe Ponturo - Production Designer
Heloise Rauth - Actor
Hubert Kounde - Actor
Mathieu Kassovitz - Director
Mathieu Kassovitz - Writer
Mathieu Kassovitz - Editor
Pierre Aim - Cinematographer
Said Taghmaoui - Actor
Scott Stevenson - Editor
Vincent Cassel - Actor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1995
Catalog ID 1688
UPC 00715515023023
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 97 minutes
Color B&W
Original Language French
Available Subtitles English
Available Audio Tracks French
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Winner (1995) Cannes Film Festival, Mathieu Kassovitz, Best Director
Nominee (1995) Cannes Film Festival, Mathieu Kassovitz, Golden Palm Award
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review If there's one thing that Mathieu Kassovitz's black-and-white feature proves, it's that hate knows no boundaries -- international, racial, or generational. With a perspective that's part Kids, part Boyz 'N the Hood, part Scorsese, and part all its own, Hate offers a raw, powerful look at urban class struggles in and around Paris. If not for the subtitled French dialogue, this story could just as easily have taken place in New York, Los Angeles, London, or dozens of other cities...The film uses a repeated, and somewhat chilling, metaphor comparing life in urban France to someone jumping off a skyscraper. All the way down, with each passing floor, the jumper thinks "So good, so far." Then he hits bottom. In the end, it's not how far you fall that matters, but how you land. Hate may portray young men who explode on impact, but the film itself has a solid touchdown.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Mathieu Kassovitz is a 29-year-old French director who in his first two films has probed the wound of alienation among France's young outsiders. His new film "Hate'' tells the story of three young men--an Arab, an African and a Jew--who spend an aimless day in a sterile Paris suburb, as social turmoil swirls around them and they eventually get into a confrontation with the police...The film's ending is more or less predictable and inevitable, but effective all the same. The film is not about its ending. It is not about the landing, but about the fall. "Hate'' is, I suppose, a Generation X film, whatever that means, but more mature and insightful than the American Gen X movies. In America, we cling to the notion that we have choice, and so if our Gen X heroes are alienated from society, it is their choice--it's their "lifestyle.'' In France, Kassovitz says, it is society that has made the choice.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
Product Attributes
Actor Kassovitz,Mathieu
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews ...powerful...
Jeff Vice, Deseret News All the performances are excellent, especially Cassel...
San Francisco Chronicle A terrific jolt of a film.
Variety Hard-hitting and extremely intelligent.
Wendy Ide, The London Times One of the most blisteringly effective pieces of urban cinema ever made...

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