Released 25 years ago, Mathieu Kassovitz‘s La Haine is one of those movies that can’t get old. Filmed in black and white, it tells the listless routine of three friends along the 19 hours during which the story develops.
The three protagonists are Hubert, a black boxer with a strong moral code, Saïd, a naive man of Algerian origin, and Vinz, a working class Jew with a very difficult character. All born in France to immigrant parents, they live in the Parisian banlieue, constantly angry and at odds with society for the way society itself has always treated them.
Despite the time that has passed since the film’s release, La Haine seems to be more current than ever, racial and class struggles, abuse of power by the police and the contrast with the established authority with which the film is imbued, are still issues at the center of political and social debate at all latitudes and remind us how far we still have to go to change course.
In addition to the raw and direct message that Kassovitz launched with the film, Hatred was also an incredible example of the streetwerar aesthetics of the 1990s immortalizing its patterns.
The way the three protagonists are dressed is intrinsically connected to their characterization: Vinz, repressed and emotionally arid, remains all the time “closed” in his Nike trackuit. Hubert expresses his inner conflict of anger and violence by wearing different brands like Carhartt, Fila, Everlast and a shearling jacket while Saïd, a troubled, confused and lost character, wears simple garments like a Lacoste polo shirt under a no brand suit.
The overalls put under the coats, almost a sort of uniform, are a real antiluxury concept that dominates a certain type of contemporary men’s fashion.
Vintage clothing expert Kevin Soar explained: “La Haine has a resonance for its style and its political context. The film remains relevant by focusing on the relationship between the police/the government and working-class suburban youth, as there will always be a struggle between young people and the police in most big cities around the world. The consistent look between groups of people, and especially young people, is an important statement – it’s not just about looking good, but also saying ‘We are one‘.”
One of the most iconic images of the film is the one in which Vinz, Saïd and Hubert are immortalized on a balcony overlooking Paris: Vinz is wearing an MA-1 on a Nike suit jacket and a pair of jeans, Saïd a leather bomber jacket on a tracksuit and Hubert his classic shearling jacket, a pair of camo cargo pants and a Carhartt beanie.
Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine s a controversial, unique, iconic and powerful film, a raw and real look at the social difficulties we unfortunately continue to experience, but it is also a premonitory film that has managed to perfectly capture the streetwear aesthetic of the 90s, which is the main reference of contemporary fashion.