Just released, the French film Athena by Romain Gavras is controversial

We told you when it premiered on September 23. : athenathe new movie roman gavrasit’s on Netflix. And the least we can say is that it is controversial.

A very controversial film.

As said in the introduction, athena is the third feature film by French director Romain Gavrasco-creator with Kim Chapiron (sheitan) of the Kourtrajmé collective. After the death of 13-year-old Idril, the city of Athena is plunged into chaos. In the midst of a particularly violent riot, where revenge-seeking youths and unarmed police collideTwo brothers will see their loyalty tested.

Given its touchy subject matter, the film doesn’t please everyone. If some viewers welcome the technical complexity of the film, many are those who criticize it very harshly. Firstly, various political personalities, situated on the right and extreme right of the political spectrum, to accuse athena be a propaganda film”anti-cops. Witness these reactions from Éric Zemmour and Damien Rieu:

In the imagination of Netflix’s left, the suburbs are terrorized by skinheads dressed as cops. #athena it is a propaganda fable that would be laughable if it did not incite violence against those who try to maintain order with such meager means.

September 24, 2022

I summarize the great joke of the film. #athena : gigadroit militants disguised as policemen killed a little suburban angel to make him rebel against the policemen. clownish. pic.twitter.com/eeMOn6pLyX

September 24, 2022

On the contrary, some viewers feel that the film gives too negative an image of the French suburbs and their youth.

No, a filthy film that has nothing to envy Bac Nord in substance. Gavras gives fascists a gift by imaging his civil war fantasy. #athenait is the depoliticization of the bar in favor of an aestheticization of violence in sequence shots of bad clipard. https://t.co/6M1sw9HVHG

September 23, 2022

LOL #athena long scenes for nothing, no emotions, a shitty ending, no suspense, just caricatured characters of ugh, a movie to please the city gangur and the far right haters. All this done by a man who knows nothing about it, of course. \ud83e\udd21

September 23, 2022

Another film full of clichés about Arabs/Muslim blacks in the cities that in no way represents the reality of our neighborhoods. To hell with the directors of these types of movies! Have you ever seen a movie that seriously promotes us? #athena #Netflix

September 24, 2022

athena Is it a far left movie or a far right movie? Film opponents tear up Romain Gavras’ new film. However, a bit of context could undermine these considerations.

Finally, what is Athena?

Before answering the question, we must first answer another: who is Romain Gavras? Son of the legendary Franco-Greek director Costa-Gravas (one man too many, the knife), Romain Gavras co-founded the Kourtrajmé collective, in the wake of the cult film Hatred by Matthieu Kassovitz, published in 1995.

Within the collective Romain Gavras began his career directing short films and rap clips, renowned for both their staging and their violence.. after the clip For those of Mafia K’1 Fry, the director has distinguished himself with clips with a more polished aesthetic and assumed violence. We think in particular of the clip. born free of the English rapper MIA in 2010, and that of no church in nature by Jay-Z and Kanye West in 2012, in which he already dealt with the violent relations between the police and the populations of the ghettos. In addition, in this last clip the motif of the Molotov cocktail launched in slow motion was already exploited there.

Alongside his career as a music video director, Romain Gavras has become a true filmmaker with his first feature film, our day will comereleased in 2010 (i.e. five years after sheitan, his friend Kim Chapiron’s first film). Violent, the film used by Vincent Cassel will not be recommended for children under 12 years of age. Then the completely crazy movie will come. The world is Yourswhich he himself described as anti-Scarface.

Romain Gavras is aware of where he comes from: the world of music. Y his work as a music video director often seems to irrigate his work as a filmmaker. Thus, the motif of a red-haired population suffering from state violence is found both in the clip born free (which we mentioned above, and which was censored on YouTube) and our day will come. Hence the sometimes misleading similarities between athena Y no church in nature.

for the promotion ofathenaRomain Gavras described his film as a Greek tragedy, hence its evocative name. If of course the figure of two brothers facing each other in a city at war can obviously recall Eteocles and Polyneices, the two brothers of Antigone who killed each other, these inspirations are found at various levels of the film: the city whose walls look like walls; the policemen filmed as legionnaires; the unity of place and action, like the plays of Sophocles.

The goal of doingathena a Greek tragedy does not seem so much linked to a desire to establish a clear political discourse, but rather to create a bridge with its own origins. the video club de Gavras with colleagues from Kobini shows how much the director ofathena is attached to its Greek originsand part of his cinephilia was built through this.

Also, this sincere approach of proposing a Greek tragedy in a Parisian suburb explains the director’s desire to opt for a soundtrack with choirs reminiscent of old choirswhile we would have seen all the songs on the album equally well the evil eyethe incendiary masterpiece of Lunatic, the duo formed by Booba and Ali.

If the film was criticized for the weak characterization of its characters, it is also explained by its inspirations: the psychology of the characters in ancient tragedies is never very advanced, insofar as these characters are first moved by passions -in the philosophical sense of the term-, sometimes contradictory.

In a river interview granted in the latest issue of the magazine Remarkable Cinema Rockyrama, Romain Gavras explains that the film is not inspired by suburban films (such as Hatred or the series The wire), but rather period filmsWhat Ran by Akira Kurosawa and Gladiator by Ridley Scott.

Furthermore, beyond political divisions, athena it is still an absolutely fascinating film to analyze, especially in terms of its staging. Some of his sequence shots are absolutely virtuosic, so it’s no wonder American director David Fincher (Se7en, fight club, The social network, girl is gone), who also began his career as a music video director, known for the precision of his direction, was particularly complimentary aboutathena.

Extensive and energetic. Romain’s skills in directing and writing his characters are exposed without remorse. I’m speechless.

And you ? What did you think of the new Romain Gavras film? Feel free to tell us in the comments section.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *