French Electronica Video Shocking The World

The music video for Stress, by French electronica duo Justice, is creating a furor.

The video, directed by Romain Gavras, depicts gang members “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 cafĂ© 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. The screen goes black, and a final, garbled voice screams in French, ‘Does filming this get you off, you S.O.B?'”

According to Justice, the video isn’t a glorification of gang violence, but “a parody of the way the major television channels treat the news.”

What do you think? Does this have any artistic merit, or do you think Justice is just trying to use shock to generate some hype?

And how about that “grueling, nightmarish electro beat”? Kinda cool, eh?

5 thoughts on “French Electronica Video Shocking The World

  1. I saw this a few nights ago on a local music channel – it’s not cool in any way at all! It is quite simply a video in which a group of losers commit violent acts to a music sound track. If their intention was to parody the way major television channels treat the news, it doesn’t work. Works really well as glorification of mindless violence though.

  2. Uh, the second one – “Justice is just trying to use shock to generate some hype”. And it’s clearly working. Good for them.

    I think the video is certainly provocative, which is a wonderful thing.

    I just don’t see at all how it’s a parody of anything: what the kids in this video are doing really does happen; and if the news channels are the target, then where are they in the video? The lone cameraman filming the kids? I’m not buying it.

    I think Justice should just man-up and tell it like it is instead of hiding behind some pussy parody bullshit story.

  3. It’s just a video, for crying out loud.

    Of course, it’s supposed to be provocative and to get your attention! Otherwise, it would be boring.

  4. I think, more precisely, it is about the youth riots in France. How the media just showed the violence, but neglected to show how that violence developed.

    From Wikipedia on 2005 Civil Unrest in France:
    “In the aftermath of the rioting, there was a huge backlash against French rappers and hip hop artists, who were quickly blamed for inciting the youth of the banlieues (suburban housing projects or “ghettos”) to riot. For many years French rappers had been creating music which told of the poor conditions they lived in and the strife, racism, poverty, and police brutality they faced every day. “For more than a decade, French rappers have been venting the anger of an alienated underclass, but rappers say politicians haven’t been listening” [29] . After the riots, two hundred French parliament members called for legal action against several French rappers, accusing them of inciting the violence [30] . Many politicians, media figures, and other public figures went on rants blaming the rappers for the unrest in the banlieus, often using derogatory and inflammatory language to describe the predominantly poor, immigrant, and minority populations.”

    All I can say is… just go see justice live or download a liveset from somewhere. They are delightfully over the top.

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