2022 / 99m - France
Action, Thriller
Athena poster


March 26, 2023


This was an experience. A film that starts with a bang and never really lets up until the very end. It's all Gavras' direction, who places his camera in the middle of the action and makes the audience part of the escalation. If visceral cinema is what you're after, this is a film that deserves your attention.

When Abdel's younger brother dies, he is fed up. He riles up the people of the Athena district, robs a police station blind, and returns with weapons to turn the district into a fort. He finds himself at the heart of a stand-off between them and the police, but he won't just be facing outsiders.

The camerawork (lots of long takes) is impressive, the performances are great, the cinematography and score are well in sync and the pacing is excellent. Maybe it slows down just a tad too much in the middle, other than that I was fully immersed. Quite brutal and unsubtle, but those are positives in my book.