Released in 1995, "La Haine" is the black and white chronicle of 24 hours in the life of a mixed-race young male trio from a run-down Parisian suburb. The work of a then unknown young team (director and actors were all under 30), it became hugely and unexpectedly successful, launching director Mathieu Kassovitz and lead player Vincent Cassel to stardom.The film's combination of hard-hitting social expose, stylish black and white cinematography and hip-hop culture also turned it into an enduring cult movie with younger viewers. With great style and insight, Ginette Vincendeau provides a thorough understanding of the context of the film's making, its narrative tension, stylistic sophistication and ideological ambiguity and of its extraordinary success nationally and internationally. She thus explains why, out of so many films about disaffected youth, "La Haine" is the one that caught the imagination, becoming an instant classic.
Ginette Vincendeau is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Warwick. Her books include 'Stars and Stardom in French Cinema' (2000) and 'Jean-Pierre Melville, An American in Paris' (2003). She is Series Editor of I.B.Tauris's Cine-Files: The French Film Guides.