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French director mulls sequel to cult classic 'La Haine,' 20 years on

© Vincent Cassel in "La Haine," 1995.

Video by Catherine CLIFFORD , Renaud LEFORT

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-07-24

Propelling Paris’s disadvantaged suburbs from the shadows to the limelight, French film “La Haine” exploded onto the cinema scene in 1995 in the wake of violent unrest. Twenty years on, the film’s director is mulling a sequence to the cult classic.

Following a multicultural trio of friends from a deprived suburb some 40 minutes away from central Paris, “La Haine” (which means “Hate”) shone a spotlight on the often ignored, or else stigmatised, day-to-day life of France’s “banlieues” – specifically the fractious relationship between residents and the police.

The film came at a dark period in modern French history, amid mysterious bombings, heightened police brutality and violent demonstrations in and around the capital.

One of the film’s three lead actors, Saïd Taghmaoui, who was born to Moroccan parents in a northern suburb of Paris not dissimilar from the one where "La Haine" was set, describes the film as “a cry for help”.

“It happened very naturally,” he told FRANCE 24. “It was a film for young people, made by young people. There was no marketing strategy, other than to be as respectful, as fair and as honest as possible.”

Mathieu Kassovitz, who won Best Director at Cannes for the film, is now considering a sequel. And while some of the Parisian suburbs, including the one featured in the film, have become less violent in the past two decades, the situation has not improved, the film's cinematographer, Pierre Aïm, said, citing the divisive appeal of religious extremism.

“The weight of religion plays much more of a role [today],” he told FRANCE 24. “If we were to take three twenty year-olds today, life would certainly be more difficult for them than it would have been 20 years ago. We see many more divisions now. So I think the (the sequel) would be much more black than white.”

Date created : 2015-07-24

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