Mathieu Kassovitz’s gritty portrayal of life in the French ghetto is what a film should be. From the politically driven theme, the foreseeing relationship of the slum dog characters, to awesome cinematography it is no wonder this 1995, black and white film is critically acclaimed and a member of the Criterion Collection.
The picture does feel like a Spike Lee film with heavy scenes occurring very easily and a perilous overcast sustaining throughout. Yet, the choice of showing the world a side of France outside of Paris is intrusive and genius. I love the characters in the film, at first I didn’t understand what brought them together, but as the film progressed it was apparent that hate brought them to love. The filming is so gritty and in your face moreover, the setting is run down, in tunnels, ghetto’s, police stations and the streets. Making for some insane camera shots and well-planned scenes that not only keep you tuned in, but keep you thinking as an artist.
Kassovitz, was able to get me to momentarily let go of my notions of right and wrong and take on the rationale of three confused and frustrated teens who are just going through their lives amidst the social unrest that is plaguing the outskirts of Paris. This award winning film is a beacon for French film and a reminder to humanity of the need to positively nurture the human condition.