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35 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Director/ Writer of La Haine

Mathieu Kassovits
Producer for La Haine
Christophe Rossignon

Cinematographer for La Haine

Pierre Aim
Genre for La Haine

Crime/ Drama
(you can argue that it is a social realism film)

Release date of La Haine

May 1995 (Cannes film festival premiere)

Box Office for La Haine

7.5 Million

Inspiration for La Haine

Kassovitz has said that the idea came to him when a young Zairian, Makome M’Bowole was shot in 1992.

He was killed at point blank range while in police custody and handcuffed to a radiator.

The officer was reported to have been angered by Makome's words, and had been threatening him when the gun went off accidentally.

Kassovitz began writing the script on April 6, 1992, the day M'Bowole was shot.

He was also inspired by the case of Malik Oussekine, a 22-year-old student protester who died after being badly beaten by the riot police after a mass demonstration in 1986, in which he did not take part.

Characters (what they're like)

- Vinz (Vincent Cassel), who is Jewish, is filled with rage. He sees himself as a gangster ready to win respect by killing a cop, manically practising the role of Travis Bickle from the film Taxi Driver in the mirror secretly. His attitude towards police, for instance, is a simplified, stylized blanket condemnation, even to individual policemen who make an effort to steer the trio clear of troublesome situations.

- Hubert (Hubert Koundé) is an Afro-French boxer and small time drug dealer, the most mature of the three, whose gymnasium was burned in the riots. The quietest, most thoughtful and wisest of the three, he sadly contemplates the ghetto and the hate around him. He expresses the wish to simply leave this world of violence and hate behind him, but does not know how since he lacks the means to do so.

- Saïd – Sayid in some English subtitles – (Saïd Taghmaoui) is an Arab Maghrebi who inhabits the middle ground between his two friends' responses to their place in life.


The film depicts approximately 19 consecutive hours in the lives of three friends in their early twenties from immigrant families living in an impoverished multi-ethnic French housing project (a ZUP – zone d'urbanisation prioritaire) in the suburbs of Paris, in the aftermath of a riot.



Said (Sayed)

Vincent (Vinz)

Back History

Unstaged footage was used for this film, taken from 1986–96; riots still took place during the time of filming. To actually film in the projects, Kassovitz, the production team and the actors, moved there for three months prior to the shooting as well as during actual filming.

Due to the film's controversial subject matter, seven or eight local French councils refused to allow the film crew to film on their territory.


Located within Paris specifically filmed within the Parisian suburb of Chanteloup-les-Vignes. (Larger city quite close to Paris)- Showing the contrast within Paris, that there is a still the battle between the poor and the rich.

Fact of La Haine

La Haine was based of an actual event, the death of an 18 year old black youth shot during interrogation by police in 1992. The riots/ violent confrontation originates from a wider and social context.

Key Scene 1

TV NEWS CREW - Attempting to interview Said, Vinz and Hubert about the previous night riots. (Crew is literally looking down on them as though the space resembles a bear pit or zoo enclousure)

Key Scene 2
HUBERT IN HIS BEDROOM - Surrounded by iconic images of rebellious black Americans in the background (Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who gave the black power salute at Mexican Olympics (1968) Both African American Sprinters.
Key Scene 3
DJ USING HIS DECKS - to spread an anti-police message to signify a sense of momentary freedom, escape or release.
Key Scene 4
STORY/ TOILET SCENE - Discussing the issue of fascism (a way of organizing/ society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government... Basically very harsh control or authority)
Key Scene 5 & 6
CLASS DIVIDE BECOMES APPARENT - Three main characters visit an art Gallery.

'SOCIETY THAT IS FALLING' - Final scene, where we are given a critical change to the story that has been retold several times, emphasising that our society is breaking.

Messages and Values - Multiculturalism/ Ethnicity within modern French society

- Huberts posters consist of black power idols

- The song 'Burnin and Lootin' linking directly to ideas of black uprisings.

Messages and Values - Multiculturalism/ Ethnicity within modern French society
Our three protagonists are of different ethnicities, within "youth culture" the separate ethnicities are shown as evolving into vibrant/ hybrid cultural fusion. There is focus on music, dance styles, street slang (verlan)
Messages and Values - Working Class 1
Strong sense of working-class experience is given. For example this being done through location shooting among the bleak, stark walls and tower blocks of the estate and the deliberate choice of black-and-white film stock.
Messages and Values - Working Class 2
Transporting the friends into central Paris strong contrasts are able to be given with the middle-class experience found here. Also placing the problem firmly within the heart of French society rather than leaving it asa peripheral issue within the projects.
Messages and Values - Racism
It is shown, most obviously in the scenes with the skinhead gang. Youth unemployment is a constant feature of the social 'backdrop': neither Said nor Vinz nor Hubert has a job.
Messages and Values - Police Brutality
Clearly an issue, though the role of Samir and the presence of black police officers within the mise-en-scene of several scenes suggests this is not a simple clear cut manner.
Messages and Values - Social Exclusion
As shown by the scenes on the tower block rooftop, in the art gallery nad the empty high-tech shopping mall, would seem to be creating an 'underclass' An inevitable product of that, according to the film, would seem to be rebellion and social conflict.
Social Historical and Political Contexts:

The Projects

Les banlieues- which read housing estates for the poor are up to twenty miles out of Paris which seem designed to keep the poor out of the middle-class centre of the city.

La Haine was filmed within a 'new town' in which La Haine was filmed had at the time an official population of 10,000 made up of sixty different nationalities or ethnicities.

These areas are stereotyped in the media as places of urban deprivation, crime and drug use.

Social Historical and Political Contexts:

The French empire and Imperialism 1

France was a major colonial power in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and South-East Asia.
Social Historical and Political Contexts:

The French empire and Imperialism 2

Struggles for independence was particularly bitter in some countries such as Algeria (which gained independence in 1962) and Vietnam (where the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954)
Social Historical and Political Contexts:

The French empire and Imperialism 3

Some colonies, like Martinique, remain and are able to send representatives to the French Assembly. Other former colonies, like Senegal, remain closely linked to France and French culture.
Social Historical and Political Contexts:

The French empire and Imperialism 4

French Policy towards non-white ethnic groups has always been one of 'assimilation' with people being expected to take on French cultural norms and values. Many Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians, in particular, who went to France to work during the 1960s, have to a greater or lesser extent resisted this policy.
Social Historical and Political Contexts:

The French empire and Imperialism 5

Maintaining the purity of the French language both at home and abroad was given a much higher priority than the British gave to upholding English usage in their colonies.
Social Historical and Political Contexts:

The French empire and Imperialism 6

Verlan, or 'backslang' , began around Paris in the 1980s among second generation ethnic minority young people who saw themselves as positioned between their parents' culture and French culture.
Social Historical and Political Contexts:


Immigration was limited by the French government during the economic crisis of the early 1970s.

Fascist far-right groups (as in many other European countries during the period) have consistently blamed unemployment on immigrants.

In the 1980s the National Front began to win some local elections and even parliamentary seats, especially in south and southwest France.

Social Historical and Political Contexts:

Racism 2

Those who administered Vichy France during the Second World War collaborated in sending French Jews to the concentration camps.

Kassovitz's father (who himself fled Hungary in 1956) was the son of a concentration camp survivor. Kassovitz plays the skinhead captured by Vinz.

Social Historical and Political Contexts:

The police and racism:

There are two main police groups in the film: the neighbourhood plain-clothes police and the riot police.

Racism as in the UK has been seen to be a particular problem in the police force.

There were over 300 deaths in police custody or from police action from 1980 to 1995 when the film was made.