Romain Gavras: Justice “Stress”

Romain Gavras directed “Stress,” the latest Justice video, and I have no idea what to make of it. It’s gritty, violent and disturbing to the extreme.

The documentary camerawork and subject matter reminded me of C’est arrivé près de chez vous (Man Bites Dog), but “Stress” goes to some other place, some deep, dark corner of our collective unconsciousness that first recoils and then relates to the wanton hostility of the hoodlums.

Via Fubiz. Thanks to Paul at Digital Scientists for the initial tip!

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



very clockwork orange.


It somewhat reminded me of The Warriors.

Marc B.

Or Aphex Twin come to daddy

Nice motion-graphics


Watching this is frustrating – made me really angry. So I’m happy it’s eliciting an emotional response, but what the hell do you do with all that energy? Root for Ironman I guess. Apparently it references the French film La Haine (Hate) too…


Ah whatever, I’m gonna go continue play GTA IV with this guy

The distorted analog synth breakdown towards the end reminds me a lot of the Clockwork Orange soundtrack by Wendy Carlos.
On a side note, I NEED one of those jackets. At any cost.


i’m almost positive I wouldn’t get run over like those cops were.

nice change of pace with the post though.

Simon Robson

well… This in my opinion is actually one of the more conservative posts I’ve seen on mographer for a while. Conservative in that the video follows a formula as old as the hills; shock through un-provoked anti-social violence. It breaks no new ground in narrative or execution. It does however do what it’s supposed to do very well. That is, outrage Mums and give the kids an album they can buy that will make them feel like they are rebelling. My rebellion album was AC/DC ‘Back in Black’as it happens… I don’t think this promo does any harm, as deprived kids who act like the ones in the clip do so as a result of years of neglect and negative influence, not because they see a video on MTV.

I couldn’t help laughing to myself however, as i imagined a scenario where one of the kids kicks the wing-mirror off the wrong car and the director throws a hissy-fit, saying: ‘That’s the wrong car you idiot, right, that’s coming straight out of your acting fee…’at which point the kid goes, ‘Right, I’m calling my agent!’etc etc…


motion graphics? the titles were dope i guess.


A tired “badasses breaking shit” formula.


I think this has a little more going for it that just the shocking violence, it’s more about your reaction to it, hoping for the thugs to get it in the neck, as you watch them go break stuff and fuck people up.
This is less La Haine, reminds me more of Hanecke’s work, it’s about you the viewer, how are you going to deal with these guys doing what they do and getting away with it?


boombaye is right “Clockwork Orange”. But still fun to watch.


i may be wrong, or looking for subtext where there is none, but i think it’s a lot more complicated than most here are giving it credit for. definitely something in there about corporations and branding, and it raises the old what-up-with-the-cross question that seems to come up whenever anyone talks about justice.

maybe a heartwarming tale of modern crusaders?


At last…a video that talks to me about my life!

I think the boys showed remarkable restraint, for you too would turn to a bit of “20 to 1” if that dreadful soundtrack was following you around the ‘hood all day.

ups to Simon Robson^


motion graphics.

Matthew Bennett

These just some guys from my favela. They’re mad ’cause I used them for ‘sacola que soca’ or ‘punching bags’ the other days, I gave them all individual beatings. That’s why they’re all angry. They’ll chill out later with some weed, don’t worry.


Were the crosses all done in post? I see sliding…


was wondering about the crosses too… my guess is they just enhanced the outlines in post, hence a slight feeling of sliding. which i personally think adds a nice dimension to it.


Gritty and violent, you’ve got that right. They are uncontrollable rebels…


Straight up fascism. Groups of people overcome by the iconoclasm of symbol and insanely convinced of their righteousness combined with utter disregard for the well-being of others, and bent on glorifying their cadre of terror. Fascism plain and simple.


Fascism indeed. The excellent works mentioned above (Man bites Dog, Clockwork Orange, Hotride and Come to Daddy) make you think about how violence and terror affects you as a viewer, this clip seems to make a political and xenophobic statement: that French culture is being destroyed by young Africans in the suburbs. Food for neofascists and nationalists.

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