Future Cinema to screen La Haine in Kabul


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The Independent Culture

They convinced the council to back their screening of La Haine on the Broadwater Farm estate after the riots, now Future Cinema is to take the powerful French film’s message further afield, with a screening in Kabul next month.

Isaac Densu, who set up the screening in Tottenham on the estate where he grew up backed by Future, hopes to accompany the group heading to Afghanistan and make a documentary of the experience. He said the film had inspired “people to come together because they knew the importance of it; of coming together as a community.”

The Future team has joined forces with Sound Central Music Festival, which is running the second ever music and film festival in Kabul. Travis Beard set up the music festival last year and said he wanted to include cinema and performing arts “to expand and inspire the visual consciousness of the Afghan crowd”.

La Haine will screen on 27 September in Kabul with a live score performed by Asian Dub Foundation, who did the same in Tottenham, as well as educational workshops.

Fabien Riggall, founder and creative director of Future Cinema, said: “La Haine is one of the most truthful films that have ever been told about youth. Even though it’s a bleak story there is hope.”

The project needs to raise $20,000 and the backers have kicked off a global fundraising drive to help bring the acts to Kabul.

The screening at Broadwater Farm, which played to 400, took place on the night of the elections for the London mayor. Mr Densu said: “It went really well. It had a good impact and got people talking about the film and the important issues.”

While those living on the estate usually only have access to Hollywood blockbusters at the local cinemas, they had no problems attracting young adults to watch the subtitled black-and-white movie.

“It wasn’t difficult to fill up the screening,” Mr Densu said. “They were ready to experience something different.”

La Haine follows three friends in their early 20s living on a housing estate in the Paris suburbs. The action takes place in the aftermath of a riot, where one of their friends had been beaten unconscious by a policeman. When it was released in 1995 it caused a huge impact in France.

Haringey Council was initially reluctant to approve the screening in the wake of last year’s riots in London. Mr Riggall said: “They were fearful it would create problems, but in the end they werer happy, it did the opposite.”

“After the film people said: ‘Things like this have happened to us.’ They were asking why. People from the estate were directly affected,” Mr Densu, who works in film, said. “It was good to have that space to talk about it and channel the anger around the Duggan situation.”

Future Cinema, the creators of Secret Cinema, also had a screening in Paris, bringing Mr Densu along for the first time he had visited the city. “We’re normally trapped in our own little world, but it was great to see that the message of this film is universal. It was a real eye opener.”

They visited the estate where La Haine was filmed. “It reminded me of Broadwater. I felt comforted in a way, but it was a reminder of the problems these places have, where people have little ways of expressing themselves.”

Mr Densu hopes to travel to Kabul with Future Cinema. “It would just be a great experience. I want to see how they live and their reaction to the film. I cherish the opportunity. Where I come from you never thing things like this will happen.”

Future Cinema had brought one of its Secret Cinema productions to Kabul last year, with a screening of The Third Man. This project is looking to bring a younger arts culture together.