Movie analysis

Watch the film La Haine directed by Mathieu Kassovitz (1995). This film traces 24 hours in the lives of three friends (Vinz, Said, Hubert) from the suburbs of Paris following the death of one of their friends and the ensuing social uprising surrounding his death. The film depicts the relationship between friends, families, and the institution of the police among others. This critically acclaimed black and white film has subtitles. Issues of class, race, national identity, religion, and sexuality are depicted in this film, and will help you to better grasp the complexities in understanding culture, language, and identity. The purpose of this assignment is to connect specific concepts from the text to relational communication events that occur in real life and showcase diversity and its tensions.

Considerations for a successful analysis:

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Watch the assigned film once in its entirety, taking notes on the most salient themes. For instance in La Haine, I would highlight the relationship between each friend, the tensions that arise and reasons for these tensions, the connection to family, the challenges faced by the main characters, etc.
Watch the film a second time by altering the viewing. For instance, you may want to ask someone close to you to watch it with you, or to watch it without sound, etc.
Make sure to take additional notes, this time by focusing on everything else but the dialogue. For instance, you might notice the use of lighting, the movement of cameras, the absences from the frame, the mise en scene, or montage. At this point, you should be able to connect some themes together.
Finally, watch the film a third time during which you should transcribe selected passage in the film necessary for your analysis.

Consider the following questions throughout the process:

How did this relationship change throughout the film?
How did it progress and/or regress?
What specific scenes, comments, and/or interpersonal interactions illustrate the changes this relationship endured?
What role did specific issues of cultural diversity play in this?

Steps for successful completion of the assignment:

Compile all of the notes you have taken throughout, and gather outside research/resources about the film/television series. For instance, you might start looking up film analysis conducted on the topic, or on the media artefact itself.
Consider how issues of class, race, religion, nationality, and/or sexuality are being portrayed (or not) in the film and how do scholars in the field of communication address these issues in representation. This analysis should help you to better grasp the complexities in understanding culture, language, and identity.
Begin to connect specific concepts from the text to relational communication events that occur in real life and showcase diversity and its tensions.


In three to five pages (bibliography and title page not included), write an analysis paper that explores and explains a selected onscreen relationship.

You may use concepts about Interpersonal Communication as relevant
Use specific quotes and examples from the film to support your claims.
Use clear headings where appropriate. Do not forget to include an introduction and a conclusion.

You are required to cite at least three references from peer-reviewed sources (academic journal articles, books, book chapters, etc.). That doesn’t include the citation of the film.

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