Thursday, October 13 – Renoir Theatre – 5:00 pm
(Screening ends at 7:00 pm)
+ Short Film Presentation: THE SEINE’S TEARS
Followed by a conversation with
writer/director Romain Gavras and actor Dali Benssalah 


Presented in Association with:
Netflix France


North American Theatrical Premiere | France | 2022 | Drama | 99 min | In French with English subtitles

Directed by: Romain Gavras
Written by: Romain Gavras, Ladj Ly, Élias Belkeddar
Produced by: Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Mourad Belkeddar, Jean Duhamel & Nicolas Lhermitte (Iconoclast Films), Ladj Ly (Lyly Productions), Romain Gavras, Netflix France
Cinematography: Matias Boucard
Film Editing: Benjamin Weill
Original Score: Surkin aka Gener8ion
Cast: Dali Benssalah(Abdel), Sami Slimane (Karim), Anthony Bajon (Jérôme), Ouassini Embarek (Moktar), Alexis Manenti (Sébastien), Karim Lasmi (Imam)
International Distributor: Netflix France
U.S Release: Netflix US
Release Date: September 23, 2022

Echoes of Ladj Ly’s majestic 2019 Les Miserables (Opening film COLCOA 2019) and Mathieu Kassovitz’s groundbreaking 1995, Hate run through Romain Gavras‘s eagerly-awaited, incendiary modern Greek tragedy, Athena. It all begins with the death of a young boy at the hands of a rogue police officer in the Athena housing projects. The incident tears the boy’s older brothers apart. Karim wants revenge at all costs. Moktar is obsessed by his own drug-dealing activities to even react. Soldier, Abdel, who’s called back from the frontlines, desperately tries to calm rising tensions. But the firestorm escalates, spreading from neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city, igniting an all-out civil war of brother against brother. Operatic in scope and style, Gavras’s meticulously choreographed and rehearsed elaborate takes — no CGI effects here! — take one’s breath away, deftly sweeping us up in his small story of epic proportions. As Heraclitus warns, “It is difficult to fight anger; for a man will buy revenge with his soul.”

The youngest son of illustrious Greek director Costa-Gavras, Romain Gavras has gravitated toward material and projects as political and hard-hitting as his father’s.  In 1994, at the age of 13, he co-founded the Kourtrajmé film collective, supporting grassroots filmmaking in the underprivileged outer-city and — since 2018, on the initiative of Athena cowriter, Ladj Ly — making vocational training accessible to a new generation of young film artists. Gavras began making his own shorts in 2001.  He has directed numerous award-winning, often brutal, music videos for such artists as M.I.A., Jay-Z, Kanye West and Jamie xx, as well as commercials for the likes of Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Adidas and Louis Vuitton. In 2008, he directed A Cross the Universe, a documentary on the French electronic music duo Justice. He has cowritten and directed two feature films: Our Day Will Come (COLCOA 2011), which premiered at SXSW; and The World Is Ours (2018), which was screened at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and was nominated for two César Awards. Athena premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival and makes its North American theatrical premiere at THE AMERICAN FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL. 

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