The Attaché brings themes of home and belonging

Eli Lax, Eli Ben-David, and Héloïse Godet in The Attaché

The Attaché is an Israeli series about a family that moves to Paris for a year. It begins streaming on Acorn TV today (March 22). I had the impression from the promos and constant references to a terrorist attack that this would be a political thriller. In fact, it’s a story about the immigrant experience and how a family deals with it.

It took me a few episodes to figure out what the series was about after the misleading impression I began with. There was terrorist activity in Paris aimed at Arab immigrants, but it was merely a subplot to the main relationship story.

The Attaché uses a mix of English, French, Arabic, and Hebrew. Reading captions will be necessary for most folks.

Avshalom (Eli Ben-David), Annabelle (Héloïse Godet), and their son Uri (Eli Lax) lived in Israel. Annabelle immigrated there from France. She fell in love with Avshalom and stayed. Avshalom is a musician.

Héloïse Godet in The Attache

Annabelle isn’t happy in Israel. She applies for a job as an attaché in the Israeli embassy in Paris and gets it. The family moves to Paris for the job. Annabelle is thrilled to be home with her parents and thrilled about her job.

Eli Ben-David in The Attache

Avshalom is miserable in Paris. He doesn’t speak French. (He speaks Arabic, Hebrew, and English, but somehow French is beyond him.) He doesn’t do anything with music while he’s there. He worries about being attacked by terrorists and worries about the Arab owner of the cafe on the corner he befriends.

Eli Ben-David and Eli Lax in The Attache
Avshalom is a great dad. He wants lots more children.

Avshalom and Annabelle love each other. They have a beautiful relationship and the two actors have excellent chemistry. But conflicts develop over her work, over his unhappiness, over the issues their son faces in preschool, over wanting another child. They fight and make up – a lot!

They faced similar problems as immigrants, whether in Israel or in France. One or the other feels out of place and lonely wherever they are. I thought their stories were representative of most immigrant experiences. The struggles with language, customs, and fitting in were universal.

Eli Ben-David wrote and directed the series, with the collaboration of Héloïse Godet as co-writer. Ben-David, who based much of the story on his own real-life experience, says “It’s about crisis and identity. We all, at least one minute in our lives, feel like a fish out of water.”

In ten episodes of 30 minutes each, we go through a lot of love, heartache and fun with this family. The secondary characters add humor and drama. The final episode of the 10 slowed to a snail’s pace and didn’t leave many issues open for a second season.

poster for The Attaché

Here’s a look at the trailer.

What do you think? Are you going to add this one to your watch list? If you watch it, I’d love to hear your impressions.

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