August 2, 2021

hi friends, or the beginnings of mixed schooling


It is an interesting combination of circumstances, which undoubtedly says a lot about the capacity of series to decipher the present, that Mixed saw the light of day when the idea of ​​single sex is making a comeback in activist spheres. Except that at the time when Mixed The school of the Republic does not know, at least on paper, any other segregation than sexual.

The first French serial production of Amazon Prime Video, developed by Marie Roussin (The Red Bracelets), does not for all that send back two eras back to back but tries to grasp, with sixty years of hindsight, what happened when the girls mingled with the boys on the benches of the public school. The company is undeniably fruitful, but the choice to paint an era in the light of today’s debates – feminism, sexual orientation (s), social mixing – leads to progress in minefield. On this steep path, Mixed starts by staggering.

The girls are a dozen to enter the Lycée Voltaire, at the start of the 1963 school year, under the suspicious eye of the old people of the old town.

The laboratory is here a large public high school in the provinces, at the start of the 1963 school year. As a corollary of the baby boom that began in the 1940s, the explosion in school enrollment forces boys’ schools to open their doors to girls, who we discover that they also want to pass their “bachot”. About ten of them make their entry into the Lycée Voltaire, under the suspicious eye of the old men – old-fashioned Latin teacher, history teacher with a bun – who see them at best as a distraction, at worst. incapable people.

Torn between the need to protect their students and the desire to open their classes to modernity, the young “surgé”, his nurse wife and a new English teacher are the progressive backing of the story. This is linked to the tribulations of a group of nicely archetypal teenagers and their parents, more or less representative of all the CSPs that can meet in a public high school. It will be understood, all of this is very… academic.

Game dynamics

You have to arm yourself with a little courage to endure the heavily exhaustive exhibition of the characters and the era, as well as the alignment of highly predictable twists and turns around toxic masculinity. In the third episode, finally (the press could not see more), the endless staging of nice girls against completely idiotic boys gives way to the dynamics of the game, the singularity of the trajectories, the sparks that emerge. ‘light up between the actors.

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