Maybe you’ve heard that one before. If you have, that’s probably due to the fact those lines are lifted directly from such a film; a film that does concern itself with relevant social issues like gun control, racism and police brutality.
Watch: #TBT ‘La Haine’ Trailer Proves It’s the Finest Film of 2015
Watch: #TBT 'La Haine' Trailer Proves It's the Finest Film of 2015
The past month has been tough on the world. There’s been a whole lot of bleak. And while many used to let this bleak trickle through the cracks of their everyday lives, it seems we’ve reached a point where it is no longer possible to ignore all the violence and hate. Look at your newsfeed. Mass shootings, racism, terrorism, police brutality, even your weird aunt has posted some semblance of an opinion on one of these issues in the past few weeks.
So where is the film of our times?
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Even in the independent world, we haven’t yet seen a fully successful attempt at characterizing the turmoil of today’s “bleak” landscape. A film about society on its way down. And as it falls, it keeps telling itself “So far so good…so far so good…so far so good.”
But this film is twenty years old, and it’s not American, it’s French.
Mathieu Kassovitz’s “La Haine” is a film that, despite its age and country of origin, more accurately represents modern America than any American film that’s come out over the past five years. For a little context, when it came out in 1995, France had been caught in the throes of a wave of mass violence. In what turned out to be an abnormally warm summer, Paris was subject to two major bombings within a span of three weeks. The similarities between past and present are uncannily eerie.
The riotous protagonists, 24-hour time frame, frenetic pacing and sweltering hip-hop influences of “La Haine” evoke immediate comparisons to another cultural masterpiece: Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.” Lee’s joint proved an invaluable resource to a society fed up with the way it was being treated. That was, of course, back in 1989, and now, with the release of “Chi-Raq,” we may finally be treated to a film that is equally important while unquestionably a product of our times.
It’s films such as “La Haine,” “Do The Right Thing” and (hopefully) “Chi-Raq” that don’t shy away from the bleak, but in sifting through the dark themes of social consciousness, provide their audience with hope and light.
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