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20 Years Of ‘La Haine’: 14-Minute Video Essay Explores The Impact Of Mathieu Kassovitz’s Film

20 Years Of 'La Haine': 14-Minute Video Essay Explores The Impact Of Mathieu Kassovitz’s Film

Nearly two months ago, Mathieu Kassovitz’s “La Haine” celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its U.S. release, and you’ll find many who find the film as explosive, timely and important now as it was back then, including Channel Criswell.

A shocking, uncompromising sophomore effort for the director, it’s an assured, poised and downright brutal day-in-the-life tale centered on three young men (Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui) who, a day after a violent French riot, hit a boiling point due to the social unrest around them. It’s a film that doesn’t categorize itself into a specific genre and one that doesn’t often escape its heavy political discussions, but Criswell does his best to break down the film’s cultural significance and poignancy by examining its structure in his latest video, “La Haine – So Far, So Good…

What impresses Criswell the most about Kassovitz’s film is how — in a 95-minute time frame — it can nevertheless formulate “a constant, rising tension amidst a plot constructed to show us nothing.” He goes as far to call it “an almost plot-less movie,” but one that uses a very-intentional plot structure, and one that finds a lot of depth until it eventually becomes “a sobering modern masterpiece.” From there, we get an in-depth, well-analyzed 14-minute breakdown on the film, examining its various elements and styles and ultimately equating it to be the masterful film it’s recognized as today.

It’s a thorough, diligent, well-kempt look at a film that deserves to be revisited and remembered in the editor’s’ eyes, and Criswell makes a damn good case for why that is. Watch the video below.

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