A man falls off a building, and every time he passes a floor he says “so far so good.” “So far so good” is the mantra of the French language film “La Haine,” which served as the opening showing of this year’s World Film Festival Wednesday night.
APSU’s World Film Festival brings foreign language films to campus that are open to the public and free of charge. associate French professor Christophe Konkobo hosted Wednesday, Feb. 15, the first night of the film festival.
“The festival has been going on for the past three years, and we show a film once a week over five weeks,” Konkobo said. “My colleague, Dr. Sorenson and I started the film festival to receive a grant the French embassy was offering. We decided to start a foreign language film festival to introduce international films to students as way to broaden their world view.”
“La Haine” is a film from 1995 directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. The film tells the story of one day out of three youth’s lives from one of the poor neighborhoods outside Paris. The trio are from distinct cultural backgrounds, but find unity being from the same neighborhood.
“One of the major themes of ‘La Haine’ is that of multiculturalism, and how different races can coexist in harmony despite what goes on around them,” history professor Dzavid Dzanic, who selected the film, said.
Before the film’s story begins, a violent riot takes place overnight that has ramifications affecting the rest of the story. The riot sparked because the police beat an Arab youth into a coma.
Recently in France a man has accused the police of sexually assaulting him, which has caused another round of civil unrest in the city.
“‘La Haine’ remains one of the most relevant French movies even though it was made 20 years ago,” Dzanic said. “1995 was a tumultuous time in France as there was a large number of civil disturbances that were the result of a number of different causes.”
The film explores themes of how humanity appears to be in a cycle of hatred. “La Haine” ends with an explosion of violence that ignites the cycle of violence again and suggests society is the man falling off the roof waiting to crash to a grim reality.
“I adored ‘La Haine’ because it hit me on a raw emotional level as the movie was very realistic, and that got me invested in the character’s stories,” freshman chemistry major Kristin Burke said. “That is why the ending brought me to tears. It was so sudden and powerful that the tragic end made me emotional.”