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Mathieu Kassovitz
Born 3 August 1967 (1967-08-03) (age 42)
Paris, France
Occupation Actor, director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1978–present
Official website

Mathieu Kassovitz (born 3 August 1967) is a French director, screenwriter, producer and actor, best known for his Cannes-winning drama La Haine. Kassovitz is also the founder of MNP Entreprise, a film production company.




Personal life

Kassovitz was born in Paris, the son of Chantal Rémy, a film editor, and Peter Kassovitz, a director and writer.[1] Kassovitz's mother is French and Catholic and his father is a Hungarian Jew who left Hungary during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[2] Kassovitz was married to French ex-actress Julie Mauduech, whom he directed and acted alongside with in his 1993 film Métisse (Café au lait, English title) and who made a short appearance in La Haine (during the scene in the Parisian art gallery). They have a daughter, Carmen. Mauduech is now a costume designer for movies.


As a filmmaker, Kassovitz has made several artistic and commercial successes. He wrote and directed La Haine (Hate, 1995), a hugely controversial film in France dealing with race relations. The film won the César Award for Best Film and netted Kassovitz the Best Director prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.[3] When he was compared to Spike Lee because the film was being compared to Lee's Do the Right Thing, he noted the irony:

I don't know if it's really important, or intelligent even, when people say to me I'm a white Spike Lee, because they said to Spike Lee you're a black Woody Allen.[4]

He later directed Les Rivières Pourpres (2000), a police detective thriller starring Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel, another massive commercial success in France, and Gothika (2003), a fantasy thriller (considered by some to be a commercial failure, although it grossed over twice its roughly $40 million budget), with Halle Berry and Penélope Cruz that he did to earn the money he needed to develop a far more personal project Babylon Babies, the adaptation of one of Maurice Dantec's books. Kassovitz established the film production firm MNP Entreprise in 2000 "to develop and produce feature films by Kassovitz and to represent him as a director and actor."[5] MNP Entreprise is responsible for the co-productions of a number of films including Avida (2006) in which Kassovits acts and Babylon A.D. which he directed. Kassovitz purchased the film rights for the novel Johnny Mad Dog by Congolese writer Emmanuel Dongala. The film was also co-produced by MNP Entreprise, and directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire. The premiere of the film was made at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival where it was screened within the Un Certain Regard section.[6]

MNP Entreprise's upcoming titles are Rebellion, MNP and also Dust Motion, that he will co-direct with young director K-Michel Parandi. Kassovitz will both star in and direct Rebellion, a war film based on a true story of French commandos who clashed with tribes in New Caledonia, the Melanesian territory of France. The film will start shooting at the end of 2008. The science fiction film MNP is named after Mir Space Station, whose writing in Cyrillic letters (Мир) look like the letters MNP, and also the production company. [7]


Kassovitz is most famous outside France for his role as Nino Quincampoix in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film Amélie. Among many other credits, he also had small roles in La Haine (which he also directed), Birthday Girl, Café Au Lait and The Fifth Element. He also played one of the main roles in Amen. (2003) by Costa-Gavras. Kassovitz is also recognizable for playing a conflicted Belgian explosives expert in Steven Spielberg's controversial 2005 film Munich, alongside Eric Bana and Geoffrey Rush. He explained several times he accepted acting parts only for the experience of knowing what it is to act, to be able to be a better director of actors afterward, to meet directors he admires and learn from them by working with them, and to take part in great projects. Kassovitz was a jury member for the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

Views on the September 11 attacks

In September 2009, he said that is "normal to question the official version of the 9/11 attacks" and "there are many things to question on that day and we absolutely can not ignore them".[8] On October 28, 2009, accompanied with Jean-Marie Bigard, a french humorist, he said on a TV show (France 2) that there wasn't any evidence that Osama Bin Laden would have been culpable of the September 11 attacks. He also asked why the U.S. government did only release a few pictures supposedly showing the hijacked airplane crashing into the Pentagon.[9][10]


As director

Feature films

Short films

  • Fierrot le pou (1990)
  • Cauchemar Blanc (1991)
  • Assassins (1992)
  • La forêt (1997) (Handicap International)
  • Article premier (1998) (Amnesty International)

As an actor

  • Au bout du bout du banc (1979) - Mathias Oppenheim
  • Next Year If All Goes Well (1981) - Le petit garçon
  • Fierrot le pou (1990)
  • Touch and Die (1991) - Piaz
  • Assassins... (1992)
  • French Summer (1992) - Un auto-stoppeur
  • Café au lait (1993) - Felix
  • Putain de porte (1994)
  • Elle voulait faire quelque chose (1994)
  • See How They Fall (1994) - Johnny
  • Les Fleurs de Maria Papadopylou (1995)
  • The City of Lost Children (1995) (uncredited) - Man on the street
  • La Haine (Hate) (1995) - Young Skinhead
  • My Man (1996) (uncredited) - 1st Client: Clement
  • A Self Made Hero (1996) - Albert Dehousse
  • News from the Good Lord (1996)
  • Assassin(s) (1997) - Max
  • The Fifth Element (1997) - Mugger
  • Pleasure (And Its Little Inconveniences) (1998) - Roland
  • Jakob the Liar (1999) - Herschel
  • Amélie (2001) - Nino Quincampoix
  • Birthday Girl (2001) - Yuri
  • Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (2002) - Physionomiste banquet
  • Amen. (2002) - Riccardo Fontana
  • Munich (2005) - Robert
  • Avida (2006) - Le producteur chanceux

Awards and Nominations


External links


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