Jusqu’ici tout va bien… Mais l’important, c’est pas la chute. C’est l’atterrissage.
Up until now everything is ok… but what’s important is not the fall, but the landing.
1995, Paris, in the Chanteloup-les-vignes housing project commonly known in French as the banlieue. Three young men; one Jewish, one Black, one Arab. Vinz, Hubert and Saïd. It’s the backdrop of the iconic film “La Haine” (Hate).
Their story takes place in the streets, as the three friends find themselves repeatedly under police scrutiny and living each day with the ups and downs of their environment. One of their friends from the quartier, Abdel, is hospitalised after being seriously injured by the police during an interrogation. This leads to riots in the banlieue, an attack on the police station, by Abdel’s friends and other heads from the neighbourhood, and an uprising that ends with an officer losing his weapon. We later find that it is Vinz who’s got the weapon and vows to us it against the police should Abdel die.
And so their story goes.
Matthieu Kassovitz’s masterpiece “La Haine” chronicles twenty four consecutive hours, in black and white, in the lives of these three friends after riots in the banlieue where they live, culminating with the death of Vinz by an accidental gunshot, drawing our eyes and emotions in, and as their story is told leaving us with timeless images, sounds and dialogue that ensure La Haine will remain forever an icon of 90’s French cinema.
It was not called streetwear in 1995
The characters had to be dressed in streetwear that was a given, although Kassovitz says he is from a time when streetwear didn’t exist, it was called sportswear at the time, and according him streetwear culture is bullshit. We get that Monsieur Kassovitz!
In the film Vinz wears a Nike track top, Hubert a thick Carhartt jacket and Saïd a Sergio Tacchini tracksuit, and all three of them are rocking Reebok sneakers.
THE 2020 ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION
This year Reebok is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the movie’s release with a collection of La Haine inspired sneakers and apparel. The silhouettes worn by Vinz (the NPC Crest OG), Hubert (the rebuilt retro NL Paris) and Saïd (the classic leather), each pair customized with details related to the film.
The collection has seen two different drops thus far, the first one a limited-edition charity auction with the proceeds going to the association ONE based in the same area where the movie was filmed; Chanteloup-les-vignes. This grass-roots association aims to help people from the local area with education, help breaking into professional world, and assistance with social services and other agencies.
The second drop took place on the 15th of October and is now available exclusively at French retailer Courir.
The Paris Banlieue TODAY.
There has always been a certain pride in the Paris Banlieue and amongst the communities that live there. There is solidarity and a unity that some of our big city populations could learn a lot from. But the banlieue also has it problems and communities that served a purpose when they were needed for post-war reconstruction (World War Two) have been in large part forgotten by the French government. And some of the cycles that exist in some of Paris’ toughest terrain are hard to break and many things need to change. That is why Kassovitz’s film is still relevant today. There is still so much inequality, continued conflict and police brutality and a distinct lack of opportunities for the residents.
Our photographer Miaous knows these zones well and offers us a lens into places that are not often seen and through his hard-hitting photography allows us to see those that live in those zones. He calls what he does the Fibre Urbaine or Urban Fibre and that’s what his photographs show us.
There is so much LOVE here but still too much HAINE.
Imagery and creative direction:
Hi-res imagery available HERE.
2020 Sneakers PR. SneakersPR.com