Anthracite Season 1


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One of the most thrilling French Netflix Originals to feature this year was the Anthracite: Secrets of the Sect. This one is for die-hard fans of crime and investigative shows with interesting themes such as being the chosen one, betrayals and secrets among others. The six-episode series features Hatik, Camille Lou, Jean-Marc Barr, Noemie Schmidt and Nicolas Godart with Maxime Berthemy and Fanny Robert behind its writing team while Julius Berg did all the directing.

Season 1 occurs thirty years after the mass suicide experienced by Ecrins cult in a small alpine town called Levionna. A murder occurs in 2024 that is arranged like a cult ritual embraced by the same town with everyone pointing at Jaro Gatsi, an outsider who trying to toe the line so he can get back to his daughter. He will meet Ida, a strange novice web sleuth who is investigating her own father’s disappearance linked to this very cult.

However, as they probe deeper into village’s secrets they had better be ready for some of their own pasts shining forth connected to what happened in 1994. The local cops’ ire has not been left out either during this amateur investigation process.

In all honesty we have Detective Gio Deluca who needs her squad’s trust back hence solving this case; otherwise Romeo Deluca would rather hang out with Jaro Gatsi and Ida instead. And yes there is Arcacia mining company that could just be responsible for abnormal illnesses and unexplained disappearances currently attributed to the cult.

For starters, it kicks off well even its tone which is far from what you would expect from such a sombre subject matter. Never really interacted much with other human beings since she’s always been isolated so now it feels awkward when she goes about searching for her father through a depressed vandal due to this secret no one wants talk about.

There is always the use of dark comedy, pop soundtracks and even animation that underlined Ida’s dependence on the internet to navigate through real-world problems. Unfortunately, Anthracite forgets this in its middle part when it stops being whimsical and quirky anymore.

Nevertheless, Season 1 remains strong up to the penultimate episode, taking full advantage of its picturesque background to create a murder mystery. The television series has also employed technology from the nineties as a means of making flashbacks distinct thereby making it easier for viewers to follow through its non-linear timeline. However, unlike most investigative shows which make the resolution very complicated, Anthracite isn’t one of them.

All the different elements have fully fleshed out subplots that are all tied together nicely at last. But the resolution is what is missing here too often.

In fact there was a showdown among key players at the start of finale that ended within ten minutes. It becomes an anticlimax with a small shocking plot twist insufficient for fixing season 1 finale: “There will be no more deaths.” If only Anthracite had been able to preserve its wittiness throughout and spaced out its story evenly it would have made for better watching experience.

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