Hass [Hate]

Hass is a play based on the truly terrific movie La haine by Mathieu Kassovitz. It was directed by Volker Schmidt [German link] and stars Karim Cherif, Daniel Wagner [German link] and David Wurawa.

In the outskirts of Vienna, the young people are restless. Every so often, there are fights with the police. During one of these fights, Karim’s (Karim Cherif) brother is hurt pretty badly and falls into a coma. Karim manages to steal the gun of one of the policemen and swears that he will kill a policeman, should his brother die. His best friends Daniil (Daniel Wagner) and David (David Wurawa) try to talk some sense into him but sense is hard to get when your existence is shaped by destruction and hate.
[Wasn’t that last sentence utterly poetic? *eyeroll* Anyway, moving on.]

The play takes place at an old, empty factory which gives Schmidt a lot of opportunity to play with the locations and the audience, and he does so with joy. Though that doesn’t always work perfectly, the talented cast and the story itself make more than up for the shortcomings there.

Since the play was not only open air, but almost outside of Vienna, busses were organised from the city center to the factory area. At the beginning of the half our bus ride, they warned us that anything from then on was part of the play. And that was one of the parts that fell a little flat. Because from then on, we drove another 20, 25 minutes before anything happened and then the bus was kidnapped (our bus by Karim, the other by David, I think) and the tone of that just didn’t fit the rest of the play. Rather, it made you giggle and it took a while to get back in the mood afterwards.

For the first part, we were divided into three groups, each group following another of the three friends (I was in the Daniil-group). There we got a small introduction to the character (which was modelled after the actual lives of the actors, I think) and then we got to see a short scene. Afterwards, the groups changed the friend they were following and got to see a scene the other groups had seen before until everybody had seen all the scenes, only in a different order. After the first scenes though, the friends were together, everybody followed them at once and scenes were played one time only. But it was a pretty cool beginning.

[Since the title of the play is pretty much ungoogleable and picture material is thin on the ground, so here’s a pic from the movie. And yes, that’s Vincent Cassel on the left. Just FYI.]

The acting was really good, especially by the three main guys, but also Marcel Mohab stood out as a politician on the far right (among other roles). I also liked that they actually found bilingual people to play the roles – it was great to hear English, French and Russian [I love Russian in general, but these past few weeks, I’ve been going through a special Russophile phase…], and even greater to understand most of it. I felt so superior. :P I was almost disappointed when they all started talking German.

Anyway, the location was really cool and they added some very awesome street art. I thought it was a great idea to put on a play like this and it worked pretty well. Though we were lucky that we had pretty good weather – I don’t know how comfortable I would have been had it rained.

They are showing it for another week, so if you have the time, I’d recommend seeing it. Alternatively, you could watch the movie.

3 thoughts on “Hass [Hate]

  1. Pingback: O Jardim [The Garden] | kalafudra's Stuff

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