NEWS: BFI Announces Season Redefining Rebellion Season

The BFI will be reopening on the 1st September with a season that examines the influence of Matthieu Kassovitz’s La Haine.

As part of its reopening programme , the BFI has announced its Redefining Rebellion Season a month-long season programmed by film journalist and critic Kaleem Aftab, which draws its inspiration from Mathieu Kassovitz’s trailblazing La Haine (1995). 

Being re-released in cinemas on the 11th September, La Haine  is 25 years old but its themes of social and economic divide and discontent, is as relevant now as they were then.

Reflecting on filmic rebellion and celebrating onscreen agitators, with this pivotal film as the lynchpin, the season will feature special events on BFI YouTube including an in conversation event with director Matthieu Kassovitz and a BFI Screen Epiphany with Riz Ahmed, with dates to be announced soon.

Talking about the news Stuart Brown, BFI Head of Programme and Acquisition, said“Great art, such as Matthieu Kassovitz’s La Haine, can challenge our understanding of the world. La Haine was an incendiary, game-changing film when it was released in 1995, and in both style and substance it feels more relevant than ever 25 years on. We’re excited by Kaleem’s approach to programming this season, combining some surprising film choices with titles that undoubtedly share their DNA with La Haine. The result is a bold and varied programme, which will provoke debate about our society, and we cannot wait to present these films for audiences who have sorely missed the unrivalled thrill of the big screen experience.”

Alongside the extended run of La Haine, Redefining Rebellion will feature work that inspired director Matthieu Kassovitz, such as the original cinematic portrayal of rebellion in Europe, Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925), the work of Paul Schrader, including Blue Collar (Paul Schrader, 1978) and Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) – the latter of which he scripted, and American Graffiti (George Lucas, 1973), a film which Kassovitz urged his sound designer to watch before making La Haine.

Meanwhile, the season will also focus on narratives detailing heroic women seeking their own agency and independence, such as the under-appreciated Norma Rae (Martin Ritt, 1979) starring Sally Field, adolescent voyage of self-discovery Girlhood (Celine Sciamma, 2014) and Persepolis (Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi, 2007), adapted from Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel.  There will also be screenings of 90s films that share the outsider spirit of La Haine in their stories of race and sexuality such as Young Soul Rebels (Isaac Julien, 1991) and Claire Denis’ Beau Travail (1999), which will screen in a new 4K print. The season will also look at the influence of graffiti and Hip-hop culture on La Haine with screenings of Boom For Real: The Early Years of Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (Sara Driver, 2017).

The season will be completed with contemporary films that draw parallels with La Haine, such as Jacques Audiard’s Palme d’Or winning Dheepan (2015) which tells of a makeshift family of Tamil refugees escaping Civil War only to end up in a virulently xenophobic France; and Swedish family film Amateurs (Gabriela Pichler, 2018) 

Tickets for screenings in Redefining Rebellion will go on sale to BFI Patrons and BFI Champions on 19th August, BFI Members on 20th August and to the general public on 24th August.

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