Episode 1 of this three-part series is one of the most sensitive, honest and intelligent explorations of coming out that I've seen. Here, Victor (Benjamin Voisin) has his first same-sex encounter, with Sélim (Sami Outalbali).
What is it?
A 2018 French miniseries (3 episodes), directed by Philippe Faucon.
What’s it about?
It’s ambitious. Over the three 50-minute episodes, it follows the life of one gay man, Victor, from his coming out in 1981 (against a backdrop of the decriminalization of homosexual acts in France) to his adoption of a child in 1999 (at a time when requests for adoption by homosexuals were systematically rejected) to his son Diego dealing with homophobic slurs in 2013 because his parents are gay.
That’s a lot of ground to cover in 150 minutes.
It is, and the series does it beautifully. If my brief synopsis of the plot might make it sound formulaic, the series is anything but. It is subtle, sophisticated, multilayered, beautifully acted. One of my favourite characters is Victor’s father, Charles, who is some respects the “villain” of the piece. A left-leaning, progressive man, he nevertheless has great difficulty accepting his son’s homosexuality, and, later, his adoption of a child. The tension between these two is a constant throughout the three episodes. And yet Charles is never demonized. He comes across as an eminently decent, humane individual. The series presents different points of view, different ways of being queer, with huge generosity of spirit.
So you liked this better than the only other miniseries we’ve looked at, the acclaimed British series It’s a Sin.
No comparison. This is worth your time. L’autre—c’est pas sérieux.
I’ve gotta give it two. This is better than just good. I’ve already watched it twice, and would happily watch it all again.