La haine (Hate) (1996)


During a riot in the outskirts of Paris, police beat an Arab teenager (Abdel Ahmed Ghili) into a coma, fuelling a fire of hatred inside Vinz (Vincent Cassel) - a Jew who swears to "whack" a cop if the boy dies. It's left to Vinz's cohorts, the jocular Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui) - also Arab - and subdued African boxer Hubert (Hubert Koundé) to talk him out of his bloody plan as they embark on a loafing odyssey from the immigrant neighbourhoods to the big city. Still, the time bomb keeps ticking.


Counting down 24 hours, Kassovitz never gives the illusion of a happy ending. This is a fatalistic account of society's decline and it's plainly one-sided - the only cop who shows sympathy for the "troubled youth" is ineffective among an army of bigots and bullies. 
The film's ending is more or less predictable and inevitable, but effective all the same. The film is not about its ending. It is not about the landing, but about the fall. “Hate” is, I suppose, a Generation X film, whatever that means, but more mature and insightful than the American Gen X movies. In America, we cling to the notion that we have choice, and so if our Gen X heroes are alienated from society, it is their choice--it's their “lifestyle.” In France, Kassovitz says, it is society that has made the choice.
Roger Ebert


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