Gov’t hit over riots

Gallic helmer, cabler react to civil unrest

In rare reactions from the Gallic film and TV world, helmer Mathieu Kassovitz and gay cable channel Pink TV have come out in support of France’s riot-besieged suburbs, where unrest continued for a 13th night Thursday.

Kassovitz — whose gritty film “La Haine” gave a glimpse of life in a deprived French suburb — posted an editorial on his Web site lambasting Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy for calling the rioters “scum.” Referring to the minister as “a puny would-be Napoleon,” Kassovitz admitted: “I have to restrain myself from encouraging the rioters.

“Hate has kindled hate for centuries, and yet Sarkozy still thinks that repression is the only way to prevent rebellion,” Kassovitz went on.

Meanwhile, Pink TV has cancelled a lavish first birthday bash in view of the strife.

Some 5,000 guests were invited to the party, which was to have been held Nov. 16 in Paris’ newly refurbished Grand Palais exhibition hall — lit in pink for the occasion.

Instead, the channel will devote an evening of airtime to the plight of gays living in poor suburbs.

French police said there has been a sharp drop in violence, although nearly 500 cars were torched to add to the 4,700 plus that have been destroyed in the past two weeks.

Curfews were in force in a number of towns, including Cannes, where underage kids were banned from the streets after 10 p.m. Several Paris suburbs were involved but not the city center.

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