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La Haine (The Criterion Collection) (1996)

Vincent Cassel , Saïd Taghmaoui , Mathieu Kassovitz  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Vincent Cassel, Saïd Taghmaoui, Hubert Koundé, Benoît Magimel, Francois Toumarkine
  • Directors: Mathieu Kassovitz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MTEFP0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,760 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "La Haine (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

It's easy to see why La Haine had such an explosive effect when it was released in France; its potent portrait of racial discord and life in the housing projects outside of Paris is at odds with France's egalitarian vision of itself. This impact wouldn't have lasted, however, were the movie purely a political statement; fortunately, it's a riveting journey that follows three unemployed young men (Said Taghmaoui, Hubert Kounde, and Vincent Cassel) as they wander and try to decide what to do with the gun that one of them has found. This simple scenario results in a remarkably complex examination of race, class, violence, and the abuse of power in modern society, yet never feels preachy or forced. Hugely influenced by American directors like Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee (particularly Do the Right Thing), La Haine riffs through different styles and techniques, yet the movie feels organic and whole, driven by a genuinely passionate point of view. Dynamic, reckless, sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle (and sometimes both; in one scene, Hubert and Said have been picked up by the police, who torture them for kicks. But watching the abuse is a rookie cop whose face quietly ripples with dismay, helplessness, and resignation), this is a must-see.

As is usual with Criterion releases, the extra features are excellent, including an in-depth but accessible documentary about the housing projects and riots that inspired the film, retrospective material on the making of the movie, behind-the-scenes horseplay, intriguing deleted scenes (with brief but revealing explanations about the deletion from director Mathieu Kassovitz), and a wonderfully articulate introduction by Jodie Foster, who championed the film upon its release and distributed it through her production company. The audio commentary by Kassovitz, who's fluent in English, is circumspect and thoughtful, with flashes of sardonic humor. Kassovitz's directing career has turned decidedly less political (his more recent movies include The Crimson Rivers and Gothika), but his perspective on La Haine and its inspirations remains sharp and lucid. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

When he was just twenty-nine years old, Mathieu Kassovitz took the international film world by storm with La haine (Hate), a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically in the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts. Aimlessly whiling away their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz, Hubert, and Saïd—a Jew, an African, and an Arab—give human faces to France’s immigrant populations, their bristling resentments at their social marginalization slowly simmering until they reach a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, La haine is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotizing from beginning to end. June 24, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I loved this movie the first time I saw it and have seen it at least a dozen times since. It is a powerful story told as seen through the eyes and lives of three friends who are living in Paris during the riots. The direction of this movie is delicious and so is the character development. A beautiful job is done in introducing each of the three main characters and in giving a bit of insight in to each of their personal lives. One is a tough guy with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove, another a good guy who has no choice but to sell hash to support his family, and the third a kid who doesn't seem to care about much other than getting laid and trying to impress his friends. What really caught me about this movie was how realistic I found it. It was funny and hard and real and disturbing and fabulous. I highly recommemend this film to anyone who enjoys quality and substance. It has an AWESOME soundtrack too!!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars B&W? Subtitles? This is getting switched off... April 6, 2006
This movie not only introduced me to the wonderful wealth of French film, but awoke a desire to find movies that were not your typical Hollywood fodder.

I remember feeling intrigued as the movie began (Channel 4 - UK), but feeling dejected when I realised it was French with subtitles, and evidently in black & white. Now, as a 15 year old boy at the time (1997) it was going to take something special to keep me watching. I didn't stop talking about it for days.

Here's the imdb plot summary:

"Injured by a police inspector during an interrogation, Abdel is at a hospital, almost dead. In the suburbs where he lives, some riots happened during the night, and one policeman lost his gun. One of Abdel's friends, Vinz, finds it. Vinz and his two pals, Said and Hubert, have nothing to do so they try to kill time. Vinz swears that if Abdel dies, he will shoot a policeman..."

The movie follows the 3 youths over the course of a day and night, and as their growing need for revenge becomes apparent, so does their awareness of the anarchy that surrounds them. They are faced with the dilemma of whether to exact their revenge or stand above it.

The journey is powerful and gripping, culminating in an explosive ending that really hits home. I cannot recommend this movie enough.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Been waiting a long time... February 8, 2007
This is one of those movies that sticks in your head. I rented it on VHS years ago when it first came out. I heard about it through its attachment to Jodi Foster's production company Egg Pictures. They help it to get released in the States. From the opening voiceover hurtling towards the ground, to the brutal ending, it will move you. The performances are terrific, and the screenplay does a fabulous job of ratcheting up the tension as the movie progresses.

Whatever your feelings and knowledge about the issues surrounding immigration, this movie shows you how from the immigrants' perspective, the tensions of their new society can clash with those of their original ethnic society into a powderkeg waiting to blow. The three main characters are young and in over their heads. Their feelings of helplessness combine with the fortuitous discovery of a policeman's lost gun to lead them where their not sure they really want to go. It's an intersting and powerful dilemma to watch.

Highly recommended!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you will not regret buying this. March 21, 2007
By phaedon
i have waited forever to buy this movie states-side. the only copy i've ever owned was on vhs and i lost it a long time ago. its been so long since the movie first came out; i remember that it was available as a zone 2 dvd in a european magazine or newspaper (it is common in some countries for them to distribute dvds this way).

anyway. im curious to see what criterion adds to this movie. this movie is a definitive "hip-hop" classic. and not many people know about it here. truly a gem.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad it's being released on Z1 format February 15, 2007
I spent $40 a few years ago to buy the Zone 2 version, which I didn't know was unplayable in my DVD player. I will gladly, but somewhat grudgingly, spend another $30 to get a copy of this movie that I can watch without limitations. Truly an eye-opening movie; France's "Boyz in tha Hood," only better in pretty much every way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VHS Review; A Truly Exceptional Film September 17, 2005
I have yet to see the DVD of La Haine. This review is of the VHS version:

Hate (La Haine) is a remarkable film. It follows three friends of different ethnicity through 24 hours in and around Paris. The film begins the day after a riot has struck the slums just outside of Paris. The three characters are Jewish, Arabic, and Black, and are all good friends despite the differences that divide them. This is an excellant character study. The film focuses less on the violence of the slum, but instead focuses on the mentallity of the three young men. After their good friend was brtually beaten by the police, the Jewish one vows that he will kill a police officer if the man dies. This vow haunts the entire film, and although it is almost a plot device, it is soon realised that it is so much more; its a character trait that can be respected once we understand these three men more. Why is one of them so much more prone to a promise of violence than the other two? Does their race/ethnicity matter in the ghetto when they're all as poor as each other? Why do the police harrass them all the time? These are some of the questions that are brought up throughout the film. To know and understand these three chracters is to know the answers. The plot is almost unnecessary in a film like La Haine. This is a chracter study. True, what happened the night before is very important to the story, but only if it properlly involves these three men, which it does quite well. Assuming the subtitles are done properly, the the dialogue is great, and the whole film is shot with a documentary feel. The whole film feels real, and we can relate to the characters because of how real they are. When I first saw this film, it blew me away. I've yet to see its DVD release, but once I find it I will get it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed a lot
LOVE this movie. Brought it with me to France when I lived there and some of my French friends couldn't say enough good things about it. Classic and makes you think!
Published 1 month ago by Sarsie
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing movie.
great movie... great packing... and good service in the delivery. 10 points.
Published 1 month ago by Matias L.
5.0 out of 5 stars At last I've found this long lost gem.
Gosh..I initially stumbled onto this movie partway into the early portion of it on cable tv some years ago toward the later 1990's as I recall. Read more
Published 3 months ago by AbnerDoon
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, edgy, stylish
I showed this film in my Contemporary World Cinema course and it was very well received by the university students. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Patrick C Dizney
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic French Film
Classic highlighting some ugly truths on issues stemming from immigration, colonization, and equal treatment. Leads to great discussion for class.
Published 5 months ago by Madamej
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably mindblowing film
This film captures the "ghetto" life of three boys from different ethnic backgrounds & their different struggles & approaches to surviving in the ghetto. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Nicole Colbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening and surprisingly good
I was a little nervous going into this because of the music and setting, I thought it was going to have a lot of violence and drug use. Overall I was wrong. Read more
Published 7 months ago by G. Scot Shelley
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! Tres bon.
This is a wonderful film. It reminded me very much of Taxi Driver. I loved that it was shot in black and white as this added to the grittiness of the subject matter. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sean Kamp
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Masterpiece
Sometimes it feels like Critereon just publishes stuff because it was old and thus important. That isn't necessarily a bad reason, but there is more to film than a pile of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Anyong
4.0 out of 5 stars the misunderstood malaise of the ghetto..
La Haine (Hate) is a depressing yet riveting look at a day in the life of three Parisian youths from the projects, at the time of violent unrest in France. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Peter B. Buckley
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Topic From this Discussion
French subtitles?
I just finished watching it and the Criterion edition of 'La Haine' only has English subtitles. Rather surprising for a Criterion edition.
Jul 29, 2009 by steve |  See all 2 posts
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