La Haine: Students’ analyses
The scene I am going to be analysing is the final scene where Vinz has a tussle with a police
officer and gets shot in the face then Hubert advances on the cop with their guns pointing
towards each other as said looks in horror as gunfire is heard. This scene is full of suspense
It starts off with Vinz handing his gun to Hubert to get rid of. Throughout the film Hubert is
always trying to reject crime as a way of life and he tries not to use violence to get accepted
in society he is the good character of the three teenagers. Whereas the other two
protagonists, Vinz and Said, take different approaches then Hubert and try to live the life of
crime and violence. At the end of the film Vinz listens to Hubert and is trying to reject crime
and violence by handing Hubert the gun but as we know in urban crime films it’s not always
as easy as that as characters who try to escape from the ghetto life often get stopped from
doing so by things out of their control. For example in this scene Hubert is retaliating with
the police officer for murdering his friend.
The sounds which are significant in this scene are two diegetic gunshots. First one coming
from where the police officer shoots Vinz and the second we do not see who gets shot
either Hubert or the police officer. The significance of the gunshot sound is that we expect
to see it in an urban crime film and it is a key convention. The director added these into the
scene to create suspense and add tension.
Another key sound used is the clock ticking when Hubert and the police officer are head to
head with their guns pointing to each other. When we get to the final time shot, the clock
moves from 6:00 to 6:01, almost as if we are now in the present time. With the ticking of
the clock carrying on through the confrontation it shows that it is the present time and
represents this is what is happening at the moment and that will continue to happen in the
In conclusion, the final scene is filled with suspense and tension and it shows how the three
protagonists try to reject the life of crime but when they are trying to do so it’s not as easy
as they think and face problems which are out of their control. At the end of the film we ask
ourselves if the two remaining protagonists get out of the banlieue or carry on with their
By Ahmed Ali
The opening sequence of La Haine portrays a realistic approach to the political and social
conditions of France, through a variety of elements. The sequence suggests that the film is
trying to convey a message in response to the riots which happened in France. It is set
around the suburbs of France also known as ‘banlieues’, areas around the country with
council estates representing, poverty, crime, violence and conflict, these run down settings
suggest, a sense of realism.
The real footage at the start of clip creates a sense of realism as the audience are able to see
the riots before the narrative of the film starts conveying the film was not produced purely
for entertainment purposes but there is a serious message. Also the director says ‘dedicated
to those who died during the making of this film’ and the audience immediately connect the
film to reality and the political issues that may have risen in France during the making the
film. The use of the footage of the riots confirms to the audience that the issue lies between
the youth of France and the police.
The use of the 1996 footage of the riots combined with Bob Marley’s song burnin’ and
lootin’ generates the message about the riots through the song ‘woke up in a curfew, oh
god I was a prisoner too’. The lyrics and the clips mirror one another as Bob Marley sings
this lyric; a medium shot of the police is shown as they put up barriers around their car
windows. The footage gives the film, a documentary type feel conveying a sense of realism;
however the song defies this and gives the film a more cinematic feel.
The use of black and white throughout the film as well as the opening sequence gives the
film a historical look, and is also educating the audience about France and its riots. As the
news report is shown the use of the black background and white text for the word
‘banlieues’ strikes out to the audiences and may convey that people who live in these areas
are lower down and the cause of the riots. This presents a social hierarchy within France.
F**k the Police Music Scene.
I feel that this short scene is quite fundamental to the film as it gives an establishing shot of
the banlieues and the diversity of the community. The music playing is a strong
representation of the themes of the film. The song being remixed (entitled F**k the police)
is played out of the DJ’s window with a speaker loud enough to ensure the whole
neighbourhood can hear. Not only does this choice of music support the messages of the
film, it also infers the opinion of the entire community re-enforcing the ideas of police
brutality and racism. This scene gives a sense of unity within the banlieues; even though the
area has so many different cultures this scene suggests that they are all unified in their
feelings towards their situation, thus infers a level of closeness of peer protection within
By Rebecca Levy
In the starting scene, there is use of non-diegetic music. The music is also contrapuntal
because it does not 'fit' with the scene and images that are being presented. The music is
upbeat and cheerful, whereas in the scene people are rioting and causing chaos. Moreover
the lyrics in the song matches the riot; words like: "Prisoner, uniforms of brutality, burning,
looting, weeping, suffering pollution". These words are from a sematic field that can be
associated with violent public disturbances. There is a close-up on a officer's weapon
suggesting how violent the riot may be.
There is also a panning shot used; first showing the police standing still and in line with their
armour and then panning onto the rioters who are separated, moving very vigorously and
some are dancing to mock the police. There is also a POV shot used when the police are
matching towards the rioters. This shows the scene to the audience as a character would
see, making the audience feel involved. There is also use of a low-angle shot on a rioter who
is being dragged along the street by officers. The use of the low-angle shot makes the rioter
look helpless and weak. There are also many medium shots used showing peeple taking
pictures during the riots. These people could be reporters intending publish articles on the
riots to send out messages about what happened.
There is also a zoom-out shot used when the rioters are running aggressively towards the
police. This gives the effect of the rioters running towards the audience. Furthermore there
is a over-the-shoulder shot used; showing all the officers standing together like soldiers and
giving the impression of going to war. The news report is used as a narrative device; stating
that the riots sparked two days ago and about the victim Abdel who was severely beaten
and the officer accused was just dismissed. The digital clock appears in white against a black
background and giving the impression of a countdown to a revolution.
Scene: Said calling for Vinz outside his flat
High angle shot of Said calling up to Vinz by
telling his sister to wake him up. The camera
cuts to an older man who lives on the
opposite side shouting down to Said at a
high angle telling him to be quiet. This shows
the conflict between the characters and how
the younger generation does not show the
older generation much respect.
A cut from this dream scene to a close wide
shot of Vinz is then shown with the diegetic
sound of dogs barking outside which could
also show the audience that to Vinz this is
what Said sounded like when he was
shouting for him.
Once Vinz is sat up on his bed the camera
pans left showing the audience the layout
and content of the room and this is so that
Analysis of a scene in La Haine (homework)
they can see what kind of character he is.
We see posters of women and wrestlers on
the wall suggesting a typical masculine man.
By Numra Tariq
We cross cut to a long show of Vinz dancing
which we believe is in his dream. The
diegetic loud music of a happy celebration
reinforces the fact that he is dreaming
because there does not look like there is
anything to celebrate about.
The camera then crash zooms from the door
to Vinz's ring which is used for the audience
to be able to identify the character which is
why this technique has been used so that the
audience knows it is an important piece of
information to remember.
This would also tell the audience that if the
film was not French then by just looking at it
could be any mainstream Hollywood movie.
The scene I am going to analyse is the ending scene of the film La Haine (Mathieu Kassowitz,
1995). In the beginning of the scene, the camera gives us a longshot of the protagonists
pulling the gang members body into the room, this shows the audience a view of what is
going on in the distance.
The scene then progresses further, and we see that the gangmember the protagonists have
pulled into the room has been thrown onto the bed, Vinz, one of the protagonists, pulls out
a gun, it is here we see a point of view shot from the gangmember. The gun in question is
also out of focus to show the character is focusing on the conversation between the two
men that stand before him.
The scene cuts to a high angle tilting down on the gang member to make him look inferior,
he has blood on his face and his expression shows exasperation and fear which all ties in
with the fact he is helpless in his situation.
A close up shot of the gang member reveals his emotion that is shown throught his
expression, his eyes are squinted and his teeth are clenched, we can see this clearly because
of the close up on it, it adds to the effect on the audience of his fear of Vinz and Hubert.
Furthermore, there is also an extreme close up on Vinz’s expression aswell, to show his
distaste in what he is doing, the audience is given a clear message on Vinz’s viewpoint on
trying to shoot the gang member.
Afterwards a shot reverse shot is used to show the gun in vinz hand and the fearful
expression on the gangmenbers face, the scene then cuts to a wide shot of the characters
after the moment that just passed, Vinz is shown to be retching whilst the others look on, it
gives the audience an impression of what is going on fully in the scene, and also as to what
Said is doing, as he is not present in the tense minute where Vinz was going to shoot the
The scene progresses completley to a different location where they boys are now on a train,
in this scene the camera tracks forwards to show the train is moving forwards, there is then
a cut to a long shot of the boys at the back of the train, looking In different directions to
connote their different hopes and directions in life.
The scene cuts to another location again, where we see the boys together, represented in a
close up, the close up connotes their togetherness, as Said says ‘see ya tomorrow’ (as show
in screencap), the director foreshadows the point that this is the last time infact they will be
together, and this is reinforced by the close up shot.
In conclusion, this scene provides a variety of different locations in which the boys have
gone which may symbolise their ‘journey’ in life, and foreshadows that it may come to and
By Nazrana Munsif