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La Haine (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

Vincent Cassel , Hubert Kounde    Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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La Haine (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + City of God (La cité de Dieu) [Blu-ray]
Price For Both: CDN$ 40.50

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This angry, antiauthoritarian French film--originally titled La Haine--concerns three young guys (a Jew, an Arab, a black) who decide to take on the police after a friend is brutally beaten. There isn't much going on in this black-and-white drama beyond its violence (which can be pretty hard to watch, such as an interrogation scene that incorporates torture) and gritty observations of wayward youths hanging out on the fringes of Paris. Certainly, there isn't much in the way of insight, and director Mathieu Kassovitz seems to have absorbed more of the excesses of America's independent film scene, especially Spike Lee at his most indulgent, than its blessings. But if it's edge and rawness you want, this has it--with subtitles. --Tom Keogh

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a masterpiece! Jan. 21 2004
Format:VHS Tape
If 6 stars could be given for this film, then I would not hesitate to offer it just that. La Haine (aka HATE) is a superb film about 3 urban Parisian youths who have one common link : an unrelenting displeasure for the police and what they symbolise. This film is full of exciting scenes and explosive performances from all the 3 main actors (Vinz, Said and Hubert). It focuses on the gritty and harsh other side to the Paris that most people are not accustomed to. At first sight, it might seem hard to get into but after a few moments, you become so absorbed in the film, you forget that you are watching a film and feel part of what Said, Hubert and Vinz are experiencing.
In my view, this is ground-breaking cinema that should not be ignored by anyone.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Meaningful April 25 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Three friends (Vinz, Hubert and Sayid) are from the ghettos of France, living in the projects and there is seemingly no way out of that life for them as the society and especially the police discriminate against blacks, arabs from the projects... At least that is the message the movie seems to project to me. I had a really hard time following the things the actors say because the movie is in black and white and the subtitles are in black and white AND they overlap the movie picture... needless to say, many words are unreadable most of the time and taking the time to guess what they said is perhaps most exasperating when in this sort of low budget movie, the conversation between the characters matters A LOT! However, the movie's plot was easy enough to follow... police beat up their friend Abdel during a riot, who dies in hospital, and Vinz who is not too intelligent or able to control his temper gets ahold of a police pistol during the riot. He vows to shoot a police if they piss him off (actually he will shoot anyone who dares piss him off). These 3 boys take the train to Paris where they look for a friend who owes Sayid a bit of money. I will not go into details here but basically their voyage into Paris was a disaster as these boys from the 'hood cannot resist doing something "naughty" every hour. They miss the last train and spend the entire night finding things to amuse themselves, including breaking into people's cars and starting a fight in a classy art exhibition and also later a scuffle with skinheads in the streets. It all end in tears eventually, with at least one of them dead and maybe one police officer dead too, I shan't say who. Read more ›
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Format:VHS Tape
Hate is a strong film about lost youth where the apparent message strikes the audience in the forehead like a nail-pegged baseball bat. The story is set the day after nightly riots in a Parisian ghetto after the young Arabian man, Abdel, was brutally assaulted by the police. Vinz, Said, and Hubert are three friends of Abdel that are set adrift in anger toward the police as they try to find reason and justice within their social environment. The impulsive Vinz, performed by Vincent Cassel, acts tough as he knows that he has a gun that he found after a police officer had accidentally lost it in the riots. Said is the follower who glorifies the violence and strives to be respected as he has a twisted view of what respect is. Hubert dreams of getting out of the ghetto as he does not glorify the violence within the ghetto while his two friends do. The audience follows these three characters throughout a full day as they are sitting around, getting into trouble, and learning through their errors. Kassovitz creates an authentic and explosive atmosphere which becomes the grounds for an exhaustive examination of the socioeconomic milieu of young adults in a poor Parisian ghetto. In the end, Kassovitz succeeds in developing an excellent persuasive and disturbing cinematic experience.
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