LA HAINE is a well-regarded cinema verite-style French film that follows the misadventures of three youths over the course of a single day as they tangle with rival gangs, vengeful police, and various weird characters out on the streets. It's an entirely low budget production, shot in black and white, that's chiefly of note for being the film that helped propel Vincent Cassel to stardom. Certainly he burns up the screen here with his usual intensity and never disappoints.
Otherwise, this is the kind of film that you can take or leave. The critics love it because it shines a spotlight on the social issues affecting France during the day: petty crime and poverty, racism in the police forces, integration, gang culture. I admit that it's a thematically interesting production and it certainly looks and feels distinctive, but I always find that films like this fail to draw me into the lives of the characters in a truly compelling way. I didn't like the leads even though the experiences they go through are typically intense. As such, LA HAINE is watchable but oddly uninvolving.
Loading video, please wait...
The film follows three young men and their time spent in the French suburban "ghetto," over a span of twenty-four hours. Vinz, a Jew, Saïd, an Arab, and Hubert, a black boxer, have grown up in these French suburbs where high levels of diversity coupled with the racist and oppressive police force have raised tensions to a critical breaking point. During the riots that took place a night before, a police officer lost his handgun in the ensuing madness, only to leave it for Vinz to find. Now, with a newfound means to gain the respect he deserves, Vinz vows to kill a cop if his friend Abdel dies in the hospital, due the beating he received while in police custody.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN