La_Haine_Feeney - La Haine The film that predicted the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
La Haine The film that predicted the French riots. By Matt Feeney Updated Friday, Nov. 11, 2005, at 12:40 PM ET Mathieu Kassovitz's acclaimed 1995 film La Haine (Hate), which examines the lives of three young men from a housing project outside Paris, begins with its narrator telling the old joke about a guy who, falling from a tall building, repeats to himself, "So far so good … so far so good." The joke refers to the explosive conditions that were building in France's suburban housing projects at the time. It's a little didactic, but it's only a joke. And it's not a bad metaphor for France's willful blindness to the problems of its suburban ghettos, where immigrants from North and sub-Saharan Africa (and now their children and grandchildren) are garrisoned outside France's beautiful old cities, literally marginalized. The French government insists that the inhabitants of these ghettoes are "citizens," as French as anyone, but it lacks either the will or the means to integrate them into the everyday civic and economic life of the nation. "Funny," the young rioters seem to be saying, "but I don't feel French." At the end of La Haine , just as it's reaching its violent climax, the narrator reappears and returns to the joke: "It's about a society falling," he says. " 'So far so good … so far so good … so far so good.' It's not about how you fall. It's about how you land." As a coda, this is both obvious and muddled. (Of course it's about a society falling—the whole movie just said that—but how can it be "about how you fall"?) But without this clumsy declamation, it would be easy to view the prophecy in the film's introductory joke as its own sort of vague metaphor. Yeah, sure, a "specter" is "haunting" France. Whatever. But Kassovitz, it appears,
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 2

La_Haine_Feeney - La Haine The film that predicted the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online