In a Parisian suburb, three young people roam the streets. One of the three, a Jewish boy named Vinz (Vincent Cassel), is consumed by a desire for revenge when he learns that Abdel, a fellow resident of the neighborhood, was beaten and hospitalized during an interrogation by a police officer. During the subsequent riots, a police officer lost his weapon. When Vinz finds this gun, he swears to kill a police officer if Abdel dies. We follow Vinz along with Saïd, a North African Muslim, and Hubert, an Afro-French boxer who dreams of leaving the banlieue, over a period of 24 hours as the conflict appears to be heading toward a violent climax.
Director Mathieu Kassovitz's influential film led to questions in the French Assembly and won the award for Best Director at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.