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Russell T. Davies’ series’ It’a Sin ‘on the AIDS years in London, arrives in France

London 1981: they are young, handsome, homosexual, ready to embrace their new freedom, but AIDS has just appeared. British series It’s a Sin, huge critical and public success in his native country, tells of a decade and a generation mowed down by a disease then considered shameful. It is broadcast on Canal + from Monday March 22.

After the astonishing and distressing dystopian series Years and Years, director Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk, Doctor Who) plays again with time, but this time to return to the history, not so distant, of the beginnings of the explosion of the AIDS epidemic in Great Britain.

The multi-award-winning author was inspired by his life to write this series which created an electric shock across the Channel. Watched in early March by nearly 19 million viewers on the Channel 4 platform, It’s a Sin prompted a surge in the number of requests for HIV tests in early February during the week dedicated to screening for the disease in Great Britain.

“The desire to do something new wasn’t (was) the most important thing. Because it’s stories like these that have to be repeated over and over again. (…) The younger generations grow up with nothing. know from this period “, Russell T. Davies explains in an interview.

In five episodes, the director covers ten years, between 1981 and 1991, of the life of Ritchie, Jill, Roscoe, Colin and Ash, aged around 18 and happy roommates in a vast decrepit London apartment called the “Pink Palace. “.

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On an unleashed soundtrack from the 1980s -OMD, Soft Cell, Erasure, Kim Wilde etc.-, young homosexuals, freed from the shackles of their families and respective regions, plunge into the euphoria of the London evenings of the artistic milieu. are now part.

“These young people grow up, reveal their homosexuality, make friends, fall in love, find work, discover who they are, as the virus gets closer and closer, affecting people around them and heading for the apartment. himself “, sums up the Welsh screenwriter.

Over the contaminated people, the series recalls the weight of prejudices and the shame felt by homosexuals and AIDS patients during the 1980s: humiliating medical questionnaires, repression of homosexuality, patients treated as prisoners, families hiding the cause of the death…

“People used to say that we were the love that dared not speak its name. And then there came a disease which dared not speak its name. Double calamity”, se remémore Russell T. Davies.

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Echoing the current period, the series, written in 2015, also depicts the mechanisms of fear and misinformation surrounding a virus that scientists are struggling to understand how. But also getting used to living with a deadly virus.

“You have kids growing up around the time of the coronavirus and for them it’s okay to wear masks and respect social distancing. It doesn’t make them blink. And it’s the same with AIDS. in a way. I just grew up with it and it took me a while to see the enormity of the situation. “, relates the director, who has just been awarded the Excellence Award by the Canneseries international series festival.

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