La Haine

In DVD/Blu-ray by Samuel Love

As 2020 becomes more and more fractured, films like Mathieu Kassovitz’s masterpiece La Haine only grow in resonance. Chronicling the aftermath of a violent riot in Paris, the film is a study of increasing tension through unrest and the resulting protest – something that this year has certainly been no stranger to.

The game-changing black & white drama follows three friends from the French suburbs over 24 hours the day after a violent riot. As they journey across Paris, they encounter an array of diverse characters and dangerous situations before a shocking climax ends the film on a dark note that suggests the cycle will continue. After all, the film takes its title from a line spoken in the film: “La haine attire la haine!”, or, “hatred breeds hatred”. It is a fascinating and powerful film that shines a light on social and economic divisions that can build to violent breaking points if left unchecked, and the result is a blistering and volatile piece of independent, urban cinema that resonates as strongly as ever in 2020.

This stunning release from BFI presents a beautiful new 4K restoration supervised by DoP Pierre Aïm alongside a staggering wealth of new and archival extras that total over five hours including feature-length doc 10 Years of La Haine, along with an 80-page book featuring new writings, archival essays and an interview with the film’s director. Fans of the film will be delighted with this release that finally does justice to the acclaimed masterpiece.

La Haine is one of the best films of the 1990s, and this incredible release from the BFI will surely be the definitive release of the acclaimed masterpiece.