Romain Gavras is a Greek/French director. Not too long ago, he released a nightmarish audiovisual for “Stress”, a single from Justice’s “Cross” album.
Gavras’ video was first posted by Justice on Kanye West’s website on May 1, 2008. Also, it has caused a flood of negative and positive commentaries.
“Stress is a 7-minute video depicting a group of French adolescents, visibly of African and North African descent. The group is wreaking havoc as they swarm from their neglected homes in the outskirts of Paris. They were followed by a camera crew from their housing project to Sacre Coeur to Charles de Gaulle airport. Also, they harassed women, broke a bottle over a café owner’s head, and fought with police and commit a carjacking.” – TIME
What was the point in showing nonsense violence? Also, why the negative portrayal of Black youngsters in the ghetto?
Some critics called the video a marketing scheme. Others were less critical and labeled the video as something “awesome and powerfully driven like a car with no brakes.”
Justice had their work cut out for them. During all this madness, they had to quash the controversy by issuing a statement defending the video.
“The film was never intended as a stigmatization of the banlieues, nor an invitation to violence. Nor 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. Also, it was not meant as a marketing coup but as a parody of the way the major television channels treat the news.” – Justice
The film was ultimately banned from French TV. Complex stated that the reason might be because it embodied France’s immigrant fear that little badasses from the banlieues would wreak havoc all across Paris.