Director Romain Gavras, a Greek/French director, best known for directing M.I.A.’s controversial video for ‘Born Free’, follows an abusive adolescent gang causing mayhem on the streets of Paris. Gavras’ nightmarish audiovisual was film for Justice‘s track ‘Stress’, a single off Justice’s debut album ‘Cross’.
Gavras’ ‘Stress’ music video was first posted by Justice on Kanye West’s website on May 1, 2008; and ever since then, it has caused a flood of negative and positive commentaries, all because:
“‘Stress’ is a 7-minute video depicting a group of French adolescents, visibly of African and North African descent, wreaking havoc as they swarm from their neglected homes in the outskirts or banlieues of Paris into the heart of the city, all to a grueling, nightmarish electro beat. Followed by a camera crew from their housing project to Sacre Coeur to Charles de Gaulle airport, they harass women, break a bottle over a café owner’s head, fight with the police and commit a carjacking. The video ends with the car set aflame and the cameraman apparently beaten unconscious.” – TIME
Many critics wondered, what was the point in showing nonsense violence? And why the negative portrayal of Black youngsters in the ghetto? Some critics even called the video a marketing scheme, while others were less critical, and labeled the video as something “awesome — and powerfully driven like a car with no brakes.”
So, Justice had their work cut out for them. During all this madness, they had to quash the controversy by issuing a statement defending ‘Stress’ music video as a fusion of art and entertainment.
“The film was never intended as a stigmatization of the banlieues, nor an invitation to violence, nor above all, as an underhanded way to deliver a racist message. ‘Stress’ was meant to be a clip unairable on television, for a track unairable on the radio. It was not meant as a marketing coup but as a parody of the way the major television channels treat the news.” – Justice
But the video was ultimately banned from French TV; and Complex stated that the reason might be because it “embodied France’s immigrant fear (and the right wing’s ultimate nightmare) as little badasses from the banlieues wreak havoc all across Paris.”
Comment below and let us know what you think about Gavras’ music video for ‘Stress’?
Title: Justice – ‘Cross’
Genres: Electronic, Music, Rock, Alternative, Punk, Hard Rock, Dance, House, Electronica
Released: Jun 18, 2007
Label: ℗ 2007 Ed Bangers Music under exclusive license to Because Music