Three friends, one a Jew, the second an Arab and the third a black man, are trying to get through another day in one of the many bleak housing projects that ring Paris. Over the next 24 hours, these young men aimlessly lounge on a rooftop, jeering police; attempt to visit a comatose pal who has been hospitalized after being beaten up by cops; insult bourgeois poseurs upon crashing an art gallery opening; and tangle violently with skinheads. Theirs is a world where one minute you are teasing each other over who cut the cheese and the next, guns are drawn.
Although in some ways, French director-screenwriter Mathieu Kassovitz's (Café au Lait) provocative Hate is reminiscent of several recent American urban dramas (Menace II Society, Juice), it seems uniquely European. These young men aren't as angry as their American counterparts, and their anger is over class, not color. But it's anger just the same; and throw guns into the mix, Kassovitz seems to be saying, and you had better be ready to rumble. (Not rated )