WHY DO THEY HATE US? / Pourquoi nous détestent-ils?


International Premiere • Documentary • France, 2016

DCP • 1.77 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 121 min

Directed by: Lucien Jean-Baptiste, Amelle Chahbi, Alexandre Amiel

Cinematography: Felix Seger, Jérôme Pavlosky

Film Editing: Jessica Babinard, Ghislain Delaval, Cédric Daire

Original Score: Grégoire Musso

Produced by: Jérôme Schwab, Alexandre Amiel (Caméra Subjective)


This three-part documentary takes an unflinching look at racism against blacks, Arabs, and Jews in France. Told from the perspective of three different directors, the films reflect their personal experiences with racism. Assembling remarkable archive material, testimonials from experts and journalists, as well as opinions from the far right, the trilogy aims to deconstruct the mechanisms of racist and anti-Semitic thought. In part one, comedian and actress Amelle Chahbi looks at the Maghrebian community in Paris to see if Arab integration is working, or if the situation is worse now than when she grew up. In part two, actor/writer/director Lucien Jean-Baptiste investigates how blacks are represented in French society with anthropologist Gilles Boëtsch, Lilian Thuram – a former soccer champion who has taken former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to task for racist remarks, and right wing radio’s Henry de Lesquen, who wants to ban what he calls “negro music.” Part three follows journalist and producer Alexandre Amiel as he meets with the head of an anti-Semitic newspaper in an attempt to understand the resurgence of Jewish prejudice in the wake of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo.


Producer/director Alexandre Amiel was struck when shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attack, his 11 year-old son asked, “Why do they hate us Jews?” For Amiel, a veteran Canal+ reporter and founder of the news production company Camera Subjective, this was a call to action. His answer was to produce this series on racism in France. For a perspective on the Arab situation, Amiel conscripted director Amelle Chahbi, a comedian and actress of Arab origins who first found success as a member of the Jamel Comedy Club. Chahbi made her directorial debut in 2014 with the comedy feature Take-Away Romance.  For a black perspective, Amiel brought in actor, screenwriter, and director Lucien Jean-Baptiste.  Jean-Baptiste has been a successful actor and voice-dubbing artist for two decades. His comedy La première étoile (2009) was nominated for a Best First Film César. He has made three features since, always working in the comedy genre. His most recent film is He Even Has Your Eyes (2017).