Filmmakers, Films and Reception of La Haine/La Zona


Key Facts about La Haine

- The cite in which La Haine was filmed had an official population of 10,000, made up of 60 different nationalities and ethnicities.

- France was a major colonial power in the C19 and C20 with colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and South East Asia.

- The Struggle for independence was particularly bitter in some countries such as Algeria (1962) and Vietnam (1954)

- French policy towards non-yhite ethnic groups has always been one of 'assimilation' with people being expected to tale on French cultural norms and values, which has been fiercly resisted by many Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians.

- 'Verlan' (backslang) began around Paris in the 1980's among second generation ethnic minority young people who felt caught between their parents' culture and French culture.

- There were over 300 deaths in police custody or from police action between 1980 and 1995, when La Haine was made.

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Key Facts about La Haine Filming/Reception

- It was shot on projects where rioting was occuring.

- The film was based on true events - the killing of Malik Oussekine in police custody.

- The film shows real riot footage - "You can shoot, we only have stones".

- The film caused riots in Marseilles and a police walkout in Cannes - Kassovitz went into hiding as a result.

- La Haine is one of the best selling foreign language films in the UK.

- The film was showed to the French cabinet as an example of 'realistic' depiction of the underclass.

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La Haine Release and Reception

- Kassovitz was working with a budget of 15 million francs, which liberated him from economic restraints and allowed for a stylised product.

- Release date: 31 May 1995 - the film was exhibited to 21,000 Paris spectators alone.

- Kassovitz was awarded the Best Director Prize at Cannes and nominated for two Cesar awards.

- La Haine took 5th place at the 1995 French box office (beated by Die Hard 3 and Gazon Maudit, but ahead of The Usual Suspects)

- The film was very successful abroad, particularly in the USA, where it was publically endorsed by Jodie Foster,

- La Haine is one of the most popular foreign language films of all time in the UK, especially in DVD sales.

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Kassovitz quotes regarding La Haine

"Posh people would tell me the film was 'fantastically truthful'. I thought I would shock people more, but unfortunately not. There was a fashion phenomenon."

"The aim was to make the Cite beautiful, using smooth camerawork... There are moments when it's all too much, almost complacent, like a music video."

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La Zona Awards

  • Venice Film Festival: Luigi De Laurentiis Award 2007 (Rodrigo Plá)
  • Golden Ariel for best supporting actor 2008 (Mario Zaragoza)
  • Golden India Catalina for best cinematography 2008 (Emiliano Villanueva)
  • Sant Jordi for best Spanish actress 2008 (Maribel Verdú)
  • Spanish actors union: newcomer award, male 2008 (Carlos Bardem)
  • Toronto International Film Festival: International Critics' Award (FIPRESCI) 2008 (Rodrigo =Plá)
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La Zona Critical Reception

- La Zona shows the divide in the Mexican society, and how the class system plays an important part in the success and happiness of these characters. The film raises questions about social and political aspects in Mexico.

- Rodrigo Plá highlights just how isolationism breeds fear in many wealthy communities.

-79% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

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