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La Haine

Year: 1995
Production Co: Egg Pictures
Director: Mathieu Kassovitz
Writer: Mathieu Kassovitz
Cast: Vincent Cassell
Near contemporary Paris, three friends from an impoverished neighbourhood who pass the time with petty crimes find a gun lost by a policeman during a riot the night before.

Egging each other on, they vow to go to Paris and use it on a cop as revenge if their friend dies - revenge for the bourgeoisie in the city who ignore them, the police who only pay them attention to harass them and the system that doesn't care about them.

On the surface it's just about three hoodlums who want to cause trouble, but it speaks volumes not just about how poverty can breed hatred and social trouble, but how violence is never the answer - as the final shocking frames show them all.

This was director Kassovitz's calling card that led to the big budget Hollywood turkey Gothika, which appears to have sent him scurrying back to French cinema.

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