If you are studying A-Level French then it's highly likely that you will watch a film called La Haine.

The film was so successful that the director, Mathieu Kassovitz, won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995 and Alain Juppé, the French Prime Minister at the time, commissioned a special screening of the film for the cabinet, which ministers were required to attend. The film also has an 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film revolves around 3 friends, Saïd, Vinz and Hubert and how their lives are affected by the aftermath of riots in their neighbourhood. After someone they know is brutally attacked by the police and left in a coma following a riot, you begin to see how this affects each character in a different way and how the Haine (the French word for hatred) they breed shapes their lives and the decisions they make.

You may think that it's odd that we're required to watch a film that came out 22 years ago but after watching it once, I can tell that La Haine is a film that is strikingly real.

Police brutality, which a real life example of which not only acts as the director's inspiration for the film, is touched on, real footage of riots that occurred in Paris at the time is used, it uses real people instead of extras and it showcases the unromantic, suburban side of Paris that perhaps we didn't know existed.

I would definitely recommend this film.

Mia Leo-Andoh, St Philomena's