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Posts Tagged ‘banlieus’

The fury of the unwanted will always horrify those who would seek to turn them into heroes, they are not glamorous or valiant, they are motivated only by the surging desire to destroy, to burn away all the vestiges of a world which hates them and which they hate back. France, in particular, has historically seen these elements appear in intense moments of domestic conflict, either between peasants and kings, the working class and the machinery of work, students and the university system or, presently, the recently-immigrated residents of the “Banlieus” and a nation which doesn’t want them there and has no idea how to handle them. Romain-Gavras, son of the french cinematic legend Costa-Gavras, here executes a violent and chillingly-exhilarating take on life in the French suburbs. A vicious multi-racial youth gang, wearing matching Justice jackets, beats, burns, gropes, steals and generally harrasses a multitude of people and property with nothing but contempt for eveything around them. It’s the most frightening piece of video I’ve seen in a long while. If an American had directed this, it would have had its horrors interrupted by whimsy (think Spike Jonze) and while Gavras seems partially inspired by Rémy Belvaux’s “Man Bites Dog”, especially in the final segment in which the youths turn on even those who seek to depict and explain them, that bleak film had as its protagonist a charming and cultured pianist and these thugs here don’t play.  The fact that it is nothing more than a dance-music video shouldn’t mislead anyone: in a nation that eats its children, there will always be vomit.

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