Social struggles in the popular sphere
in Mathieu Kassovitz
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Though Mathieu Kassovitz has never explicitly defined them as such, there are compelling reasons for identifying his first three feature films, Métisse, La Haine and Assassins as a trilogy. This chapter concerns two feature films - Metisse and La Haine - due to their unambiguous association with a popular youth-orientated audience and attempts to entertain their spectator in order to engage him or her with the social issues addressed in the film. Just as themes of racism, ethnicity and cultural identity are foregrounded in two of Kassovitz's earlier short films, Fierrot le pou and Cauchemar blanc, so they loom large in the narrative of his debut feature Métisse. Kassovitz shows that while the mass media may well be the 'symbolic battle ground' on which socio-political struggles take place, considerable inequalities exist in this struggle in relation to power and access to the means of production.


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