the first reviews of Netflix’s shock dive into the suburbs are here

the first reviews of Netflix's shock dive into the suburbs are here

The first opinions on the new feature film directed by Romain Gavras, Athenafell following its screening at the 79th edition of the Venice Film Festival.

Son of the legendary Franco-Greek filmmaker Costa-Gavras, director Romain Gavras made his first feature film in 2010 with Our day Will Come and brought a nice fresh wind in French cinema in 2018 with The world is yours. Today, he is back with a new feature film titled Athenabroadcast on Netflix and centered on the fate of three brothers in a city on the edge of chaos after an alleged police intervention gone wrong.

Co-written by Ladj Ly, the director of the exciting Wretched, Athena joins its cast Dali Bensalah, Sami Slimane and Ouassini Embarek to interpret the three brothers, but also Anthony Bajon and Alexis Manenti in secondary roles. The film was shown publicly for the first time on the occasion of the 79th edition of the Venice Film Festival, be an opportunity to see what the English-speaking press has thought of it :

PhotoThe Chair and the blood, suburban version

“The electrifying Athena, which premiered today at the Venice Film Festival, has one eye on the present and another on the eternal. Its subject matter is timely, but its treatment timeless. : it is a war film, a family drama and a Greek tragedy.” Bilge Ebiri – Vulture

“Especially with its jaw-dropping conclusion, Athena is bound to clinch your jaws and significantly raise your heart rate long after the credits end. It’s the painful and perilous present being written in the flash of a phone camera and in the flame of a Molotov cocktail.” Marshall Shaffer – The Playlist

Photo Anthony BajonThe exciting Anthony Bajon in CRS

“While the film’s emphatic style can become exhausting and its technical demonstration risks overshadowing the collective drama, there is an operatic scale here that never ceases, giving this escalation of violence considerable power.” David Rooney – The Hollywood Reporter

“The result is no less than an urban war movie, as if charismatic characters decide to react to the outrage expressed against law enforcement in the real world.” Peter Debruge – Variety

“Gavras has perhaps not yet produced such an inescapable work as his father’s masterpiece [Z, ndlr]but both come from the same spirit of resistance, visual requirement and desire to use cinema as a tool for reflection.” Carlos Aguilar – The Wrap

Photo Sami Slimanechaos reigns

“It’s spectacular and immersive, and the opening is sensational. But Athena treads water in her monotonous protest, with stagnant tempo and redundant parkour filming – as impressive as that is. It also suffers from a few sneaky diversions that sound like dodges.” Peter Bradshaw – The Guardian

“Athena effectively taps into the class, racial and religious tensions of contemporary France, which he treats like a powder keg just waiting for the right spark to explode. But the film’s family fresco is so thin and metaphorical that the deepest connections to the real world are sacrificed on the altar of intensity. An intensity that resists psychology, stifles the socio-political context and ends up cannibalizing itself.” David Ehrlich – IndieWire

Athena : photo Sami SlimaneA visual firework?

English-speaking critics seem to agree bear witness to the technical and visual mastery ofAthena, especially in its opening and conclusion. These texts also confirm that the film directed by Romain Gavras tries to take the pulse of a France confronted with tensions around subjects such as religion, racism and police violence.

Critics then emphasize the relevance ofAthena on these themes, although some point to a certain sacrifice of substance in favor of form. Anyway, this third feature film by Romain Gavras has something to excite and intrigue. To know more about the film, we will have to wait its release on Netflix at the end of the month, on September 23rd.

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