Tonight at 9:10 p.m., France 2 is broadcasting a single event on the theme of surrogacy around the intimate fight of two couples to succeed in founding a family, carried by Sofia Essaïdi, Malik Zidi, Benjamin Siksou and Roby Schinasi.
What is it about ?
Céline and Mathieu, a farming couple in their thirties, have waited five years since their first application for adoption. Céline, barren, approaching forty, realizes that the countdown is accelerating as her forties approach. But the social worker has only one option to submit to them: the adoption of a child with multiple disabilities.
Filled with despair, Céline attacks her violently. Before leaving, her compassionate intern slips them the contact details of one of her friends, Darius. He resorted to another solution with his spouse Julien: GPA (Gestation Pour Autrui). Céline is clearly reluctant to this idea, but Mathieu will convince her to at least go meet him to discuss this subject…
What’s wrong with my family, Wednesday January 9 at 9:10 p.m. on France 2
Who is it with?
To embody the couple formed by Céline and Mathieu, Sofia Essaïdi (La Promise, Kepler(s)) gives the reply to Malik Zidi (Towards the battle, Nox). Facing them, Benjamin Siksou (La Vie d’Adèle) and Roby Schinasi (La Vengeance aux Eyes Clairs) play Darius and Julien, the couple who will put them on the path to surrogacy.
An obstacle course towards parenthood that will make them cross paths with two Canadian families, played by Jennie-Anne Walker (Hero Corp), Florian Hutter, Eleonore Lamothe and Philippe Touzel. Their respective parents are played by Patrick d’Assumçao (Paris Police 1900), Guilaine Londez (Benedetta) and Christiane Millet (Le Code), while Bruno Sanches (HPI, L’Ecole de la vie) plays the brother of Celine.
Well worth a look ?
First French fiction to tackle the subject of surrogacy, What’s wrong with my family? is freely adapted from the story of the personal experience of television host and producer Marc-Olivier Fogiel, published by Grasset editions in 2018, who used this process for the birth of his two daughters.
Transposed into a 90-minute unit for France 2 by Marie Deshaires, Catherine Touzet and Hélène Angel (La Fin de l’été), who also signs the production, the subject takes on a greater dimension, nourished by many varied testimonies on this journey which controversial in France where legislation on surrogacy is still not a subject.
And this despite the progress of the debates within the framework of the revision of the bioethics law on the subject of the opening of PMA (medically assisted procreation) for all women in September 2021.
By showing a couple of farmers far from the stereotypes of the Parisian bobo couple, facing a homosexual city dweller couple, the television film does not only want to break the clichés for the sake of diversity of representation: indeed, a large majority of heterosexual couples who have surrogacy come from all over France and are sometimes forced into heavy debt.
Based on this reality, What’s wrong with my family? paints the portrait of two united couples, carried by a solid mutual love but also marked by doubts, trials and the passage of time, and an entourage that sometimes rejects them.
Sterile, Céline faces cruel incomprehension from her mother when she announces their intention to go to Canada to meet a surrogate woman. Darius, meanwhile, has no contact with his father since his coming out.
Exhausted by the length and failure of French adoption procedures, Céline, Mathieu, Darius and Julien embark on the unknown across the Channel by meeting two women, themselves already mothers, ready to help them. to become parents. An adventure that will bring them together and create an indestructible bond.
Without falling into militancy, the telefilm approaches with a lot of humanity all the questions that one can ask about this process. It does not avoid rough edges and sticking points: what happens if the carrier woman changes her mind? What is the consequence of this pregnancy for her spouse, her children? Can you keep a link with your biological parent? Finally, what does it mean to be a family other than by blood ties?
But by putting love at the center of the story, the screenwriters manage to compose a sensitive and fair angle of approach, which makes it possible to confront all the points of view without judgment of values - starting with that of the main interested parties, these women (and not “surrogate mothers”, refusing to be labeled in this role) who choose to dispose of their body as they wish to put it at the service of others.
The emotion, which emerges little by little throughout the telefilm, also resides in the power of its interpreters, totally invested in their role. Sofia Essaïdi proves again, after The Promise, that she is a great dramatic actress, and the bond that her character creates with Darius, played by a skin-deep Benjamin Siksou, is particularly touching. His mother, played brilliantly by Guilaine Londez, is just as moving in her wanderings and her apprehensions which come to hinder her filial love.
Seeing these beings flayed by life learning to love themselves by founding their own family in a society that did not allow them to do so, is perhaps the best possible response to this contemporary issue which is still controversial today in France. .