La Haine is a film which either grasps your attention, or gives you a têtes à claques. Ambiguity is at its zenith when it comes to analysing this film. However, at what point does analysis become scrutiny?
We all know the primary use for this film: to make French teachers look ‘cool’. I use the word ‘cool’ in specific as it coins exactly what the film isn’t…a means of expressing suburban living in a modern way. When will we take off those rose-tinted glasses and upgrade our conception of social living? (This week’s blog is thanks to my dear sister who kindly pointed out the flaw in the fireworks)
Mais l'important c’est pas la chute, c’est l’atterrissage.
This film has all the ingredients for a simple depiction of the suburban life in Paris: 1) the colloquial language, 2) the mixture of real life footage and 3) the moody black and white over-layer. Nonetheless, we must not take the first viewing as doctrine. La Haine is not a documentary; it is an accumulation of social tensions, press interference and the unexpected turns in life. The former statement seems obvious due to the fictional storyline. Yet, we simply cannot make a correlation between one particular aspect of the film and a ‘popular’ news topic from today. Bob Dylan summarises it pretty well: “times they are a-changing” therefore different comparisons must be drawn.
So when my sister told me she was studying this film, I immediately paused. My worry is that La Haine can be easily slotted into the wrong category if one were to pick the elements of the façade. Of course, that can be said about all types of analysis! However, what makes this film different are the delicate themes which represent a certain time period in a certain area. That is to say, it would be difficult to carry over any cross references to today’s world as the sequence of events is a ‘quilt’ of singular situations all stitched together.
I hope to have changed the lenses on those film analysis glasses to give a different approach. Test yourself to see if it has worked with this clip…
...sorry I meant this one…
Much different, eh?