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Netflix’s protest-action movie Athena erupts as one long climax

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Athena, the latest film from music video director Romain Gavras, is a one-trick pony, but that trick is so formally dazzling that the movie is an enrapturing experience.

Composed of several lengthy, labyrinthine takes spaced out by traditionally edited scenes, it follows three French-Algerian brothers in Paris — young and middle-aged adults from different walks of life — thrown into disarray in the immediate aftermath of a harrowing family tragedy.

Their youngest sibling, a child named Idir, has been murdered, and the culprits caught on camera appear to be French police.

The oldest brother, Moktar (Ouassini Embarek), is a drug and weapons trafficker who only looks out for himself. Middle brother Abdel (Dali Benssalah) is a career soldier dedicated to keeping order.

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