'Athena' Review – Venice Film Festival – Deadline

‘Athena’ Wows Crowd at World Premiere – Venice – Deadline

The immersive modern tragedy of Romain Gavras athena It just had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, receiving a 4 1/2-minute standing ovation in the process.

The French film had people clapping and screaming from the start of the end credits before the crowd rose to its feet for a standing ovation.

The kinetic story begins just after the death of a young boy, under unexplained circumstances, plunging his three siblings and the entire eponymous Athena housing project on the outskirts of Paris into chaos.

Venice Film Festival Photo Gallery: Chalamet, Blanchett, Iñárritu and more

In a star turn, Dali Benssalah stars as Abdel, a French Army soldier who is recalled from the front after the death of his younger brother following an alleged police altercation, only to find his family in tatters. Caught between his younger brother Karim’s (Sami Slimane) desire for revenge and his older brother Moktar’s (Ouassini Embarek) criminal dealings, he struggles to defuse rising tensions. As the situation escalates, his community, Athena, transforms into a besieged fortress, becoming a scene of tragedy for family and others alike.

In his review, Todd McCarthy of Deadline wrote that athena “it grabs you by the throat and barely allows you a moment to catch your breath” and that its “long, continuous opening shot spans from a single building to the entire neighborhood in a stunning visual display…Spielberg West Side Story It seems like child’s play compared to how this was filmed on the streets.”

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Gavras recently told Deadline that the film was “imagined as a Greek tragedy, and ultimately the tragedy is kind of an inexorable drive toward chaos.” The filmmaker said the script was born “with the simple idea of ​​being inside a spark that could set the nation on fire in real time.”

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This Netflix film is Gavras’ third feature film, here teaming up with previous collaborator Elias Belkeddar and longtime friend Ladj Ly (The Miserables) about writing homework. Ly and Gavras are also producers.

Netflix premieres globally on September 23.

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