At the risk of being cliché, I’m going to state that only the French could have made a movie about racial issues and the troubles of youngsters in the suburbs and still make it elegant. I’ve tried looking for other adjectives, but I couldn’t find one that better describes those long takes shot in a moody black and white. But despite the elegance of the footage, the power of the narrative and the acting makes the violence and hate realistic as hell, dragging you into the story and empathizing with the characters until you want to raise your arm and fight for your rights. Aside from this unusual combination of fine art and explicit violence, the most shocking thing about La Haine is how much the issues it addresses still make sense right now, even though the movie was released 20 years ago.
Even though the tension was building up throughout the movie, I did not see the climax coming. 90 mins of pressure cooker scenarios leading to one explosive final sequence that leaves the viewer shocked. Hate will always come your way even if you do not reciprocate it. But does that mean we go an eye for an eye? That’s the million dollar question.
What did you think? Who should watch it?