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The Cultural Revolution of Paris’s Banlieues

Published on 28 November 2020 at 15:59

How the Kourtrajmé School is effecting deep change within France’s elitist art school system

In 1995 Mathieu Kassovitz released La Haine in French cinemas, awakening audiences to life in the banlieues of Paris by portraying the violence and alienation fostered in what were once visions of utopian living but had become social-housing ghettos. “It’s about a society on its way down,” says one of the film’s characters, played by a young Vincent Cassel, “and as it falls, it keeps telling itself: ‘So far, so good… So far, so good… So far, so good.’ It’s not how you fall that matters. It’s how you land.” If the film landed pretty well, garnering international acclaim, the society it depicted did not: ten years later the banlieues exploded in some of the country’s biggest and most violent riots.

A quarter-century since La Haine ...


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