?Ad Vitam? image by Netflix
When the human life can be extended indefinitely through a process called regeneration, what type of life will humans have?
The French show ?Ad Vitam? is another addition to a growing list of powerful productions on Netflix from countries outside the United States.
Christa Novak, a powerhouse subtly played by Garance Marillier, is recruited by Darius Asram, played by Yvan Attal, to solve a case of suicides.
Novak, 24-years-old, was affiliated with a wave of suicides ten years earlier. Asram, 119-years-old, is nearing the end of his third 33-year run as a cop ? a limit for the vocation. After that, career changes are mandated, called ?retraining.?
The production doesn?t create a fanciful future reminiscent of Star Trek. It instead focuses on the dynamic of old versus new, everlasting versus death. And each technological advancement delves into one?s perception of the meaning to life and freedom.
This tip to technology is starkly contrasted with the use of paper and the eating of meat. These become symbols of life nearly forgotten. And yet, they are entwined in the lives of the ruling elders and the rebellious youth.
Regeneration technology is derived from jellyfish. The beginning of the series celebrates the world?s oldest person, a 169-year-old who doesn?t look any different than when she was 23-years-old.
But indefinite life takes its toll on society. Not everyone is compatible with the regeneration process. In other words, you are separated in society by your birth in a new form of classism.
With a severe reduction in natural deaths, cemeteries are removed, and parricide becomes a leading cause of death. The rarity of natural deaths, a new job ? grievers ? is formed to assist people with understanding that a loved one is not coming back.
The extension of life also extends the age cap to minors. A common age, at least for the United States, to mark the start of adulthood is 18 years. But in ?Ad Vitam,? a person is a minor until they are 30-years-old.
Minors lose their ability to be seen and heard. Instead they are seen as an extra burden. And they are reminder of life some find difficult to remember, and others yearn to recapture. During the series, a birth restriction vote is promoted heavily to a society that doesn?t see the need for youth.
The symbolism of the show is up for interpretation. It does a fantastic job of inserting aspects of the society into the flow of the story without compromising the integrity of the main plot.
As a viewer caution: the show does cover youth suicides.