A Look at Ad Vitam on Netflix
If humanity became immortal, would it be a gift or a curse? The French-language sci-fi thriller series Ad Vitam asks exactly that question. Taking a look at a futuristic society that’s unfamiliar with the concept of death, the show certainly doesn’t shy away from sensitive subject matter. Exposing the ugly underbelly of this futuristic society, the series takes a hard look at the concept of eternal life. With the new immortal reality – people are promised infinite opportunities. But is it really as good as it sounds? And is it worth watching Ad Vitam on Netflix?
Ad Vitam – To Life
For centuries, people have been looking for the elixir of life, hoping to become immortal. In 210 BC the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, drank what he believed to be such elixir. However, instead of becoming immortal, he died of mercury poisoning. Ad Vitam (meaning To Life in Latin), takes a look at a different world, where everyone can be immortal. Thanks to a technology derived from jellyfish, people gain immortality through a process called regeneration.
As the world celebrates the 169th birthday of humanity’s oldest person, the nation is shocked by a wave of teen cult suicides. The younger generation feels rejected by the society, finding it difficult to find their place in life. Neglected and unwanted, the youth gets radicalized. Simultaneously, a historic referendum is taking place on whether there should be a complete birth restriction, eliminating future generations altogether.
A Thrilling Investigation
Darius, a 119 year-old detective is nearing the end of his last term on the force. After spending a whole century on the job, you’d think you get to retire, right? Well, the government mandates career changes, so he will have to retrain for a new profession. Darius investigates the new wave of teen suicides as his last job on the police force. He’s helped by Christa, a 24 year-old, who was involved in a similar incident 10 years earlier. The unlikely duo work together to find the truth, which might be different from what it originally seems. Each episode recovers more pieces of the story, keeping you guessing the outcome throughout the whole series.
Besides the interesting storyline, the show has a very strong visual and musical language. Neon lights, glowing jellyfish, electronic music and futuristic views – it’s all very visually pleasing. Ad Vitam was filmed in Benidorm, Spain. The Costa Blanca city looks quite futuristic in comparison to most other European cities. Which makes it the perfect location for the sci-fi series.
The show’s producer Katia Raïs has said: “We saw pictures of the city at night and it was very strange, it felt like it was Miami. And when we went there, what I found most interesting was that the city is much more creepy than that. It is interesting at sunrise and sunset and at night.“
Is Ad Vitam worth the watch?
In short, YES! I found the show very interesting, with a unique and compelling storyline. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you enjoy European TV and cinema, I would definitely recommend giving the show a try! The six part series of Ad Vitam is available on Netflix. I found myself binging the whole first season and am happy to see Netflix including more non-English content on the platform. Sensitive topics are covered in the show, such as youth suicides, so viewer discretion is advised.