This Israeli series takes an outside look at the Bataclan attacks by painting a touching portrait of an Israeli father of Moroccan origin who arrives with his family in Paris on November 13.
What is it about ?
Avshalom, an Israeli of Jewish faith and of Moroccan descent, recognized musician moves to Paris to follow his wife Annabelle who becomes attached to the Israeli embassy in Paris. Becoming an anonymous immigrant in a foreign country will take on new meaning when Avshalom arrives on the same day as the biggest terrorist attack in French history. The romantic year abroad they dreamed of quickly turns into a nightmare – a marital crisis in the eternal capital of romance, an immigration crisis in the heart of Europe, and a crisis of masculinity and fatherhood.
Who is it with?
Almost unknown in France, Eli Ben-David is an Israeli series creator. In The Attaché, in addition to being the co-creator, he is also the director of the entire season and the interpreter of Avshalom. In this drama, he co-stars with the one who plays Annabelle his wife, Héloïse Godet who also participated in the writing of the screenplay just like Ori Elon. We can also come across a familiar face from French comedies: Patrick Braoudé! The latter plays the father of Annabelle, a Frenchwoman who finds her Parisian roots with her post of attaché at the Israeli embassy.
What is it worth?
Unlike a good number of Israeli series which have particular predispositions for the thriller, The Attaché – despite its setting: Paris during the attacks of November 13, 2015 – prefers intimate drama. The series portrays a man losing all his bearings. His family leaves Israel in the hope of fleeing terrorism and the anxiety-provoking atmosphere that weighs there … to find themselves in France on the day of the deadliest attacks in the country’s history!
The complexity of The Attaché does not lie so much in action or a fight against terrorism as one would expect. The series highlights how difficult it was for Avshalom to be a foreigner in France at that time. Israeli, he is de facto a potential target of terrorists. Of Moroccan descent, he has a suspicious profile in the eyes of the French authorities when he comes face to face with the police officers who are hit and miss the night of the attacks. These accumulated factors will increase his paranoia and his feeling of insecurity.
In addition, there is a cultural gap and the language barrier. Avshalom is “lost in translation” at the worst possible time in Paris. A recognized musician in Israel, he is unemployed in France and feels he has no control over his life as his wife thrives in her profession and in the city where she grew up.
An autobiographical story
It is no coincidence that from the start you can sense the very organic character in the way this story is told. Quite simply because Eli Ben-David lived it. The fact of telling it in The Attaché has a cathartic vocation for the author. When he talks about his relationship, the series then becomes a romance. For Avshalom, far from everything, it is a question of not moving away from his wife.
We are surprised to see how Eli Ben-David plays with genres. All is not serious and dramatic in The Attaché. There are moments of fun and even burlesque. His son’s first day at school takes a charming turn when his father has fun clowning at the window to reassure his son. In the manner of Roberto Benigni. Although he does not always find the right balance in the articulation of his narrative, Eli Ben-David has managed to infuse enough humanity into his series that it is worth a look.