don’t judge a dvd by its cover: la haine


As I much as I try not to, I sometimes judge a book, or in this case a DVD by its cover.  I’m quite particular about what kind of films I watch and a film about violence and brutality on the streets of Paris didn’t particularly appeal to me.  However, yesterday I was going through all the DVDs I have and realised that I hadn’t watched this particular one.  For some reason, I’d put off watching this film because I had already put the idea into my head that perhaps it ‘wasn’t my kind of film’.  But I took the plunge and decided to watch La Haine (Hate) directed by Mathieu Kassovitz.  It tells the story of three youths; Hubert, Said and Vince, who after witnessing their friend being brutally beaten up by the police, vow to take revenge if he dies.  Their estate becomes a battleground in the space of 24 hours, in which the police and the boys on the estate see both sides as enemies.

What would have made this film even better is if the three boys didn’t live up to their stereotypical roles, which to some extent they didn’t- inside the care-free angry exterior were three boys who were fearless yet at the same time scared and showed love and respect yet simultaneously demonstrated so much hate (for the police).

 From a fashion perspective, the mix of New York ‘street’ style and classic 90s worked really well mainly due to the fact that it was genuine and actually shot in the 90s (and in black and white) the camera is clever yet conveyed in such an unpretentious way.  All three main actors were brilliant in their portrayals and for me, the film really highlighted the importance of friendship and loyalty.  La Haine raises serious issues (drugs, racism, crime, deprivation) but in such a humourous way.  There are so many funny moments that make you realise that whatever you’re going through there’s always room for laughter. I absolutely loved this film and would definitely recommend it.  So, the moral for today (and everyday for that matter) is:  don’t judge a DVD or a book or a person or anything else by how it/they looks because you may well be wrong (like I was)! 

Le monde est à vous

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