Tuesday, May 13

What are they stressing about

The new Justice's video Stress, directed by Romain Gravas is causing much controversy in France at the moment, even mentionned in the morning news between the saga sarko and the weather forecasting. It seems to be much more about the relationship between France and its banlieues than the clip itself.

Quite simply a cross (let's avoid the cross debate, some have mentioned the predominantly muslim communities in the french suburbs made the display of the cross unthinkable: are they thinking about this way too much,it seems so), anyway a cross between La haine and a Clockwork Orange. You can find a bunch of guys attacking lonely females, beating up cops and setting stolen cars on fire. Being generally quite aggresive. Nothing you've not seen before and certainly not as violent as smack my bitch up by Prodigy. La haine (Mathieu Kassovitz) was the first major film depicting life in the parisian suburbs and funny enough like this video was directed by the wealthy and educated son of a famous filmmaker (Costa-Gravas for Romain and Peter Kassovitz for Mathieu)
The song on Romain Gravas myspace page is a classic french tune called quand on arrive en ville from the musical starmania (massive hit in the 80s), a song about some young people hitting town on a nice evening to destroy everything (nice analogy). It is quite literraly what they do in the video. Gratuitous violence, hey want to be heard, recognized, but it probably doesn't matter that much really. What we now know is that France is far from having sorted its problems with its banlieues.
What shock the french middle class most is probably the fact that the violence is no longer confine to the poor suburds, it can come much closer, as the riots showed in 2005. This video made by one of them is just a reminder of what hides across the motorway. The people who live in those suburbs (banlieues) do not want to be associated with thugs (racailles) only because they are from the same council estates. They don't want to see the middle class spreading the stereotypes in pop music videos.

But really what is depicted is just what happened in any urbanised city accross the globe. Pointless polemic really. Well judge for yourself..............


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