Athena is based on the death of a young boy that sparks conflict across the city. His three elder brothers find themselves on different sides as violence erupts. The social issue drama is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
The murder of a 13-year-old boy named Idir has caused rebellion across the city. His older brother, Abdel, an Army soldier, is trying to address the situation. The suspects in Idir’s murder are the police.
Abdel wants an investigation, but his younger brother, Karim, has decided on more drastic measures. His group of rebels throw a Molotov at them and steal weapons from the cops and take them back to the Athena Estate, which serves as their base.
Moktar, the eldest of the brothers, is only concerned with his drug business and attempts to convince Karim to control the mob but he rejects this and continues the rebellion.
Abdel exacuates their mother, who requests that he protect Karim because she believes he is fragile and emotional.
A television broadcast reveals that Idir was bludgeoned and beaten to the ground by police officers and left for dead. However, as per the investigation, the attackers weren’t real police officers, but members of a small far-right group.
When Karim’s group of rebels asks about this, he just responds that this is all fake and they should not believe everything they hear.
Abdel offers to talk to Karim himself but the police are unwilling to let him go. They ask him to stay put if he doesn’t want to get arrested.
Karim and the rebels find a stray police officer named Jerome and capture him. In return, they want the police officers who killed Idir.
Abdel claims that he can talk to Karim and calm him down. He leaves the place he was asked to stay at and enters the Athena Estate.
Karim confronts him and says he’s nothing but someone who abandoned his family and became a puppet for the Army. They would have all preferred if he died instead of Idir.
Abdel agrees to this, but escapes with Jerome. With the mobs chasing him, he asks Moktar for protection, who is hiding in part of the estate, himself. It is also revealed that Moktar has a different father.
Moktar suggests killing Jerome, but Abdel has another idea. If he gives Jerome to the police, he automatically becomes a hero and can escape.
Tracking them down, Karim asks Abdel to release Jerome. Abdel tells him to get away as the police are about to show up to take Jerome with them.
Refusing to budge, Karim threatens to burn the place down with a Molotov. The police arrive, and when Karim tries to throw the Molotov at them, he gets shot and ends up dropping it on his own body. His body is burnt.
Abdel is absolutely distraught by the loss of another brother. He begins to question what side to pick.
Athena ending explained in detail:
Does Abdel join the rebels?
After the death of Karim, Moktar suggests that Abdel calm down and they escape. Looking at how heartless he is, Abdel beats him up.
He switches sides and joins the rebels, essentially becoming the same as Karim. The rebels threaten Jerome and try to get the names of Idir’s killers but he claims to be unaware.
Abdel asks them to get all the weapons. When they wind a safe they cannot crack, he asks Sebastian to help them open it with explosives, but he seems like a man who isn’t mentally stable.
Another broadcast reveals that within 24 hours after the video showing Idir’s death was released, 30 cities are experiencing violence. A far-right group of 100 people has stormed the Dijon City Hall as well.
Is Abdel dead or alive?
Abdel communicates with the police. He wants the heads of the police officers who killed Idir in exchange for Jerome.
However, no matter how much he threatens them, they maintain their stance that the killers are actually members of a far-right group. He shoots but deliberately misses Jerome.
The rebels tell Abdel that Sebastian is using the explosives to blow up the building and wants to burn it down.
When the police arrive, Abdel has let Jerome free but refused to leave the building. The death of Karim and Idir, and his inability to keep the promise to save the former, have extinguished his will to live.
He lies almost lifeless as Sebastian burns the building down, killing another of the siblings.
What happens at the end? Who killed Idir?
At the end of the film, the incident that sparked the entire rebellion is shown. Idir is beaten up and left for dead.
The perpetrators remove their police uniforms and burn them up. On their necks, the symbol of a cross inside a circle can be seen.
This scene suggests that it was, in fact, the far-right group that murdered Idir as a form of hate against Muslims.
Their goal was to frame the police to incite a war between Idir’s community and the authorities. They used the ruckus to storm the Dijon City Hall, but their motive for this isn’t revealed.