“Athena”, a spectacular tragedy by Romain Gavras

four years later The world is Yourswhich had been presented at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes, the French director Romain Gavras, a member of the Kourtrajmé collective, comes to Netlix with athenaco-written with his friend Ladj Ly, director of The MiserablesCésar for the best film 2020.

The film would be, according to the promotional arguments put forward by Netflix and its authors, neither more nor less than a “tragedy”, and we are clearly in that register, since the film focuses on a misplaced brother in a battlefield setting. , without forgetting the name of the district in question, Athena, or the Greek origins of the director, son of the great Costa-Gavras: “When I was young, I was never allowed to see Walt Disney movies, I was shocked by tragedy or Greek mythology, a teenager who kills his father, who marries his mother, who gouges out his eyes, or a woman who is going to eat their children, so I have always been impregnated with strong symbolic images. And that is what we try to transcribe within this film, not even a second ago where we let the viewer go.”

“At the same time, we try to recover a timeless iconography, go beyond social news and include it in a more timeless dimension.”

roman gavras

in franceinfo

The story is thus that of three brothers, Abdel, a soldier who wants to ease tensions, Moktar, a thug, and Karim, who becomes the leader of the troublemakers.
violence triggered by the death of Idir, the youngest member of this brother, after a police intervention. Romain Gavras takes us on board with these three characters and their clashes but also introduces us to Jérôme, a CRS fallen from the nest played by Anthony Bajon. “In the film I think there are no good guys or bad guys, that everyone has their dark side, and for me it was important to show a character from CRS, since they have no right to speak, according to the Law, emphasizes the director. And the idea was to show a young CRS, for what is probably his first mission, whose costume is too big for him, who wants to escape all of that. And therefore to have precisely all these points of view and characters that react differently to fire.”

Either athena it is so strong, it is so first of all thanks to its spectacular visual style, with pyrotechnics, in the first sense of the term, without forgetting an incredible ten-minute introductory scene, in a sequence shot. Gavras is also very good at making “mouths”, with very charismatic actors, without forgetting the background, and a reflection on violence as a dead end, the power of images and manipulation.

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