Did The Writers Of The Netflix Movie, Athena, Foresee The France Nationwide Riots?

In yet another eerily accurate prediction by movie makers, the Netflix movie, Athena, seems to have foreseen the unrest in France.

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The powerful predictive power of the human imagination and Hollywood, is once again on full display as thousands of fires rage across France. The shooting and death of the 17 year old French teenager known as “Nael.M’, at a traffic stop, has sparked outrage across the nation and the series of events leading up to this point are eerily familiar.

As the unrest enters it’s fifth consecutive night, it is being reported that the police have made over 1300 arrests. The boy’s mother, Mounia, told television station France 5 on Friday that she blamed only the officer who shot her son, Nahel Merzouk, for his death. Nonetheless, the killing has sparked widespread destructive unrest and questions over whether race was a factor in his death.

In an update on Saturday, France’s Interior Ministry said 2,500 fires were reported overnight. Rioters set fire to 1,350 vehicles and 235 buildings nationwide. About 1,300 people were arrested, while the government mobilized 45,000 police officers with armored vehicles to quell the violence.

The predictive power of movies

Athena is a 2022 French epic action drama film directed by Romain Gavras. The film stars Dali Benssalah, Sami Slimane, Anthony Bajon, Ouassini Embarek and Alexis Manenti.

Abdel, an Algerian-French soldier, holds a press conference outside a police station after his 13-year-old brother Idir dies in hospital, the result of three apparent policemen beating and leaving him for dead. He appeals for calm, but a group of youth, led by Abdel’s brother Karim, disrupt the press conference by tossing a Molotov cocktail and raiding the police station. After stealing a weapons locker and a police van, the youth head back to their banlieue, Athena, where Abdel also grew up. They begin to barricade themselves – and the residents of Athena – inside the housing complex.

Anarchy quickly spreads in France as CRS riot police are deployed and it’s all a downhill spiral from there.  In the final scene of the movie, a man in a van is shown recording the beating of Idir, which is later posted on social media. The “policemen” are revealed to be far-right instigators in disguise; they enter the van, drive into the woods, and burn the uniforms they had worn, revealing that the beating was a deliberate attempt to incite racial unrest.


Actor Omar Sy, star of the film “The Intouchables” and the “Lupin” TV show, said on Twitter: “I hope that justice worthy of the name will honour the memory of this child.”

Click here to read about 10 other movies that seemingly predicted the future.

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By Ade
Writer, Innovation Enthusiast and Student of the Capital Markets
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