Netflix: The 7 lives of Léa, in the shoes of one. and other –

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By Sophie Esposito

Produced and broadcast by Netflix, Les 7 vies de Léa is a French mini-series that brilliantly fuses teen drama, thriller and fantasy. The space-time journey of 17-year-old Léa, torn between her desires and her contradictions, has captivating intimate and political resonances.

June 15, 2021. It’s the year of the baccalaureate for Léa, convinced that she will not have it. Anyway, she doesn’t know what she wants to do next. “I hate my life”, said the teenager’s voice-over (Raika Hazanavicus) who participates in a party in the Georges du Verdon, not far from the leisure center run by his parents. Under the influence of alcohol and drugs, Léa isolates herself and plans to do something irreparable when she stumbles on a skeleton. Saved by this macabre discovery – which she reports to the police – the young woman returns to the family home where she falls asleep, upset, to wake up in the place of the deceased, a few days before his death. This is how Léa’s spirit finds itself in the body of Ismaël, a talented musician and close friend of her parents, a high school student who mysteriously disappeared 30 years earlier…

In this seven-episode Netflix series, which mixes fantasy, thriller and teenage drama, Léa travels between 1991 and 2021 by reincarnating, each night, in the skin of a different person (including her mother and her father). This change of identity favors a broadening of his perception which will allow him to elucidate the mysterious circumstances of the death of Ishmael (magnificent Khalil Ben Garbia). But as she goes back and forth in space and time, Léa tries above all to act in this parallel world to change the course of history, without doing anything stupid, and to prevent tragedy from occurring. Because, through her investigation, which becomes a race against time, the young woman unearths family secrets, multiplies sensory, emotional and sexual experiences and becomes attached to Ishmael. She thus carries out a sort of “practical psychoanalysis”, which gradually sheds light on the reasons for her discomfort and modifies her relationship to the world.

Sensitivity and humor

By feminizing the main character of 7 vies de Léo Belami, Nataël Trapp’s novel which she adapted, Charlotte Sanson, the creator of the series, deploys a welcome feminist look at the body, incarnation and desire. The casting is good and especially the performances of the male actors when Léa is embodied in them! With an incredible rock soundtrack (NTM, Pixies, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Niagara, etc.) that crowns the sharp reconstruction of the 90s (clothes, haircuts, telephone box, camcorder, Walkman, compilation of audio cassettes…) , the series immerses us in the provincial life of this unconnected generation, between high school, the cinema, the sandwich shop and the skatepark.

She exploits in a sensitive and humorous way the cultural gap that has widened in thirty years: fashionable language and expressions, the relationship to the body, to screens, to friendship, to parental authority and especially girl/boy relationships… Pinning down the racism, grossophobia or masculinism of the time, Les 7 vies de Léa is a series that values ​​empathy to make us feel what builds our destinies, showing how each interaction , situation or choice has consequences. Without any fatalism obviously. It’s very well written, addictive, funny, subtle and touching.

Sophie Esposito

The 7 lives of Léa, series created by Charlotte Sanson. (Fr., 2022, 7 x 45 min). Not recommended for under 16s.

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Netflix: The 7 lives of Léa, in the shoes of one. and other –

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