Power, Poverty & Conflict
• A culture dominated by a more powerful ideology.
• A portrait of a culture in a particular place at crucial
time of development.
• An inability for sustained romantic alliances due to
social conditions and upbringing.
• A feeling of social or cultural insignificance.
• A descent into violence, drug use, crime, alcoholism or
• Conflicts arising as a result of social and/or cultural
• Societies lacking in identity due to Western Globalisation
Context of time and place:
Representation of the city:
The city as a character in itself
Influence of the urban environment on the characters
Representation of Power:
Physical / Authority / Power / Gender / Social Class
Money / Family
Representation of Poverty:
Material / Emotional / Education / Opportunity
Representation of Conflict:
Physical / Psychological (of the mind!) / Emotional /
Material / Social & Cultural / Family & relationships
La Haine (1995) is set in the 1990s and the protagonists live in ‘les
banlieues’ (housing estates) on the outskirts of Paris. It also deals with
police brutality, racism and civil unrest. It opens with immediate context:
real footage of the riots that regularly took place between youths and
police between 1986 and 1996 (and were continuing during filming).
The director, Mathieu Kassovitz, has often stated that he was inspired
to write the film when he heard the story of: a young Zairian, Makome
M’Bowole [who] was shot in 1993. He was killed at point blank range
while in police custody and handcuffed to a radiator.
Representations - Male
Young men from ethnic minorities are the main social
group represented in the film. La Haine young ethnic
male protagonists. The American ‘hood’ film sub-genre
often has a character that is trying to reject a life of crime
and escape the trappings of the ‘hood’ in which he lives.
Hubert conforms to this archetype, and rejects crime as a way of
life. He tries to fight against taking violence as a means to integrate
into society and earn a living (Poverty). His friends Vinz & Said
take different approaches to their social situation (Conflict). The film
can be seen as debate about the way to deal with issues above and
beyond their control (Power).
Hubert rejects the rioting of the other youths on his estate. He runs a gym that
he worked hard to get a grant for, and promotes boxing as a sport for young
people to get involved in. The audience first meets him in the ruined gym after
the rioters have trashed and burnt it in the previous night’s riots. The film ends
with Hubert sucked in to potentially committing the murder of a police officer
(or being murdered himself) as retaliation for the shooting of his friend.
Characters who try to escape the ghetto life are often stopped from doing so by
circumstances out of their control – or even by death (something explored in
other Urban Stories).
Task - Select: 1 or 2 Scenes
• Respond to the question
• Write your response on your blogs
• Include screen grabs
• Include textual/cinematic
• Include contextual knowledge
• Debate/Discuss Social Issues
Approach to analysis/discussion
POINT: Make a point that directly answers the
question (regarding a key social issue).
EXAMPLE: Refer in detail to a scene that re-
enforces that central issue (be specific &
EXPLAIN: Discuss/debate the key theme &/or
issues raised within the scene and the whole
film, as well as how it relates to the Urban Stories
topic and its wider context (give your own views
5. How far does the impact of the films you have studied for
this topic depend on distinctive uses of film techniques?
• A sound appreciation of the films studied with an ability to
make detailed and close reference to telling and relevant
film techniques in the context of telling “urban stories”
• A detailed and sophisticated knowledge and understanding
of what is distinctive in the films studied – particularly in
their deployment of specific film techniques
• An ability to argue for the particular and notable impact
made by specific techniques within the overall impact of
films - by reference to film detail
• (The very best candidates) may suggest that other factors
besides film technique are of as great or greater
significance, for example performance.
Audio-visual form as
Social, Cultural & Political Power, Poverty & Conflict
film as an audio-
visual form of
ther with its
Power, Poverty & Conflict
Apply knowledge &
approaches as well
as the responses
that are created
= 35 marks
‘City of God’