Find the list here: The Top 250 Films List Total Films Watched: 250/250

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

#233 - 'La Haine' (1995)

"Heard about the guy who fell off a skyscraper? On his way down past each floor, he kept saying to reassure himself: So far so good... so far so good... so far so good. How you fall doesn't matter. It's how you land!" - Hubert.
'La Haine', or 'Hate' in English, depicts a day in the life of three friends - Vinz, Saïd and Hubert - living in a French ghetto on the outskirts of Paris. Tensions are high between the gangs and the heavy handed Police and they reach boiling point at a particularly violent riot. During the riot, a friend of the three protagonists  - Abdel - is severely injured after being beaten by the Police, leaving him hospitalised. In the chaos, an officer loses his gun which ends up in the hands of Vinz. With his new weapon, Vinz declares that he will kill an officer if Abdel dies of his injuries.
Vinz, Saïd and Hubert.
The film is set out across a timeline of around 24 hours, with a ticking clock appearing to signify how far along in the day we are. The trio are of different ethnic backgrounds but work together signifying their unity against the oppressive law enforcement. They have no jobs or family and seemingly no future ambition. Trying to find something to fill their day, they embark on a journey across Paris which is depicted as a gritty and run down city as opposed to the city of love. This is emphasized by the fact it is shot in black and white which I think works really well.
The French housing project where the trio live.
One scene I liked in particular as one that showed us into the mind of Vinz. After his morning routine, he looks into the mirror and re-creates Robert DeNiro's famous improvised scene from 'Taxi Driver'. It shows that Vinz believes he is a tough guy and thinks highly of himself, as well as enjoying a good reference which is always a good thing! 
"Vous me parlant ?"
Of the two French films I watched that night, 'Incendies' being the other, I like this one a lot more. It was tense, dramatic, violent and scarily believable. 

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