Jean-Christophe Buisson: “Athena, much ado about nothing”

Athena by Romain Gavras. Kourtrajmeuf Kourtrajme Netflix

CHRONICLE – A suburb in insurrection: this is the theme of the controversial Netflix film… but leaves it unmoved.

That’s usually a good sign. A film paid for by those who want at all costs to see an ideological message in it. A film which, for the left, would give a caricatural image of the suburbs and, for the right, would excuse the excesses of violence in the said suburbs by placing their responsibility on the police and the extreme right. In truth, Athena by Romain Gavras (Netflix) deserves a judgment other than a political one. Because it is obviously realistic (only Radio France ailments have never set foot in Seine-Saint-Denis to believe that Molière’s French is spoken there and that civic-mindedness is king there or drug trafficking and hatred of France are absent). And because, between the distress of the inhabitants, nihilism or Islamism on all floors of the city towers, it shows the need for a restoration of a republican order by forces of the same name.

Where the shoe pinches, it is not in the intentions nor in the ambition of the son of Costa-Gavras: to tell the conflagration…

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