CAFE AU LAIT is a furiously paced inter-racial comedy directed with great flair by 25-year-old Mathieu Kassovitz. Kassovitz, a young French incarnation of Woody Allen, stars as a young bike courier who learns to live with his pregnant girlfriend Lola (Judy Mauduech) and her "other" lover Jamal (Hubert Kounde), an upper-class African law student. Lola gives them a double date and announces she is pregnant. But who is the father? Mathieu Kassovitz gets the most out of the situation, using his urban setting cleverly while pulling off an enjoyable fairy tale on the complications of human relations. 1993 Cannes Film Festival.
Mathieu Kassovitz is the son of veteran French film director Peter Kassovitz, who appears in CAFE AU LAIT as an inarticulate college professor. Mathieu began acting in film at an early age, appearing in his father's Au bout du bout du banc in 1978 and Jean-Loup Hubertt's prochaine, si tout va bien in 1981.
Eager to direct as well as act, Kassovitz made his first short film, FIERROT LE POU, in 1990. Financed by Lazennec Productions, it won awards at several film festivals and was theatrically released as an accompaniment to Christian Vincent's feature La Discrete. Kassovitz's second short, CAUCHEMAR BLANC (1991), was also made for Lazennec and accompanied Henri Herre's Aout in the theaters. CAUCHEMAR BLANC won the Prix Perspecitives at the Cannes Festival and was broadcast on French television. Kassovitz's third short, ASSASSINS (1992), was a collaboration with the eponymous musical gruop that later provided songs for CAFE AU LAIT. Kassovitz's strong interest in current popular music was also evidenced in two music videos he directed: "Peuples du Monde" with Tonton David and "Les Brouillards de Londres" with Thierry Hazard.
CAFE AU LAIT (whose original French title, METISSE, can be translated as "Blended"), Kassovitz's first feature, is an autobiographical film inspired by the daily experiences of the director and his friends. It opened in France in the Summer of 1993 and was shown at the London, Paris, Sarasota, Sydney, and Venice Film Festivals. CAFE AU LAIT received Cesar Award nominations for Best First FIlm and Most Promising Young Actor (Mathieu Kassovitz).