Athena
Athena (2022)
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‘Athena’ on Netflix – Movie Review: An Unignorable Operatic Piece

Review

Total Score
8/10
Overall
8.0/10

Athena is a 2022 French movie directed by Romain Gavras, starring Dali Benssalah, Alexis Manenti and Anthony Bajon.

A Greek tragedy transposed to a ‘banlieu’, in Athena.

Premise

Set in a ‘banlieu’ in the neighborhood called Athena, few hours after the tragic and mysterious death of their youngest brother, Idir, three siblings have their lives thrown into chaos.

Review

With an intro that is probably one of the most spectacular that we have seen on screen (believe me, this is no exaggeration. It is an impactful long take that not even Welles nor Altman would dare to do). Athena is pure in its cinematic style, dyed in a hue of social realism, it has a documentarized feel to it.

Atenea
Athena (2022)

Romain Gavras has certainly proven his directorial prowess with Athena, he is daring like Gaspar Noé in Irreversible (2002), with a purist approach to the visual style, while portraying a tragedy.

Gavras in Athena manages to build his characters sketching them so authentically as to bring them into relief in the midst of chaos. Already from the initial scenes, which are adroitly measured, once the Molotov cocktail is launched, all hell breaks loose. This gives no other option than to create a movie full of dramatic long takes, of action, becoming nothing less than a spectacular production.

On this occasion, as was the case with Fellini, it is the director who is the star of the movie. We are not saying that he is a follower of nouvelle vague, but his passion for cinema shines through as much as it did for the cinematic icons in the movement. The notion of the “invisible director” is not applicable to Romain Gavras.

I suppose it is clear by now that we loved the way in which it has been filmed and edited, demonstrating that movies about social conflict can take on artistic proportions. In all its facets: the photographic, the editing, and the score with its potency and being perfectly synchronized with the respective scenes, culminating in an adrenaline charged tragedy of operatic dimensions.

Our Opinion

Romain Gavras is a true artist, that proves to have a very clear idea of how to go about filming and producing, and knows how to relay effectively the stories he seeks to tell. With Athena he has managed to create a piece of art in a genre with social realism that normally shies away from this level of artistry. This movie is filmed with style and even poetic artistry within the chaos it depicts, the paradox of a beautifully filmed conflict.

Release Date

September 23, 2022.

Where to Watch Athena

Netflix

Direction

Romain Gavras

Romain Gavras

Romain Gavras (born 4 July 1981 in Paris, France) is a French filmmaker. He is known for directing Jamie xx’s video “Gosh”, Kanye West’s video “No Church in the Wild” and M.I.A.’s video “Bad Girls”. He also directed Justice’s “Stress” and M.I.A.’s “Born Free”, both controversial for their depiction of graphic violence. Gavras’ films and music videos often portray a gritty setting juxtaposed with high energy content. His second film, The World Is Yours (Le Monde est à toi) was screened at the Directors’ Fortnight during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Cast


Dali Benssalah / Abdel

Anthony Bajon / Jérôme

Alexis Manenti / Sébastien

Ouassini Embarek / Mokhtar


Sami Slimane / Karim

Radostina Rogliano

Karim Lasmi

Mehdi Abdelhakmi
Tarek Haddaji


Guy Donald Koukissa
Athena (2022)
Athena

Movie title: Athena

Movie description: Set in a 'banlieu' in the neighborhood called Athena, few hours after the tragic and mysterious death of their youngest brother, Idir, three siblings have their lives thrown into chaos.

Date published: September 23, 2022

Country: France

Duration: 1h 39m

Author: Martin Cid

Director(s): Romain Gavras

Actor(s): Dali Benssalah, Alexis Manenti, Anthony Bajon, Karim Lasmi, Ouassini Embarek, Radostina Rogliano, Mehdi Abdelhakmi, Tarek Haddaji, Sami Slimane, Guy Donald Koukissa

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Review

Romain Gavras is a true artist, that proves to have a very clear idea of how to go about filming and producing, and knows how to relay effectively the stories he seeks to tell. With Athena he has managed to create a piece of art in a genre with social realism that normally shies away from this level of artistry.

Overall
4

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