After a police scuffle critically injures an Arab student during a street riot in the slums of Paris, hotheaded Jewish youth Vinz (Cassel) finds himself in possession of a rookie's pistol, which he vows to use on a cop. As Vinz roams the streets with pals Hubert (Kounde), a boxer from West Africa, and Said (Taghmaoui), a disenfranchised Arab, his coiled rage threatens to erupt at the slightest provocation.
This explosive street drama set in the projects of Paris takes place over the course of 24 hours. Taking his cues from Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee, Kassovitz employs a visceral visual style that may lack subtlety, but will certainly keep you riveted. His young actors, representing a motley cross-section of alienated outsiders, are fresh and funny, especially in their chest puffing, pop culture-inflected banter. Giving voice to the voiceless and volatile, and building to a jarring climax, "La Haine" is an indelible, up-to-the-minute portrait of underclass rage in contemporary France.